Thursday, November 28, 2013

Liu Bai: A Chinese Successor's Dilemma

©2013 INSEAD Case Study

Succession patterns in Asia are heavily influenced by Confucian values and traditions. Liu Bai's father's authoritarian style of management was typical of Chinese families, but his critical and demanding manner made it impossible for Bai to work with him, even in the Asian context. While it may seem aberrant to Westerners, children are supposed to bow to the Confucian ideal of the patriarch, even more powerful than the state as far as the welfare and governance of the family is concerned. Conflicts are settled by the family, within the family.

Pedagogical Objectives: To explore the impact of gender in family business succession; To recognize the limits of rational business thinking in highly emotional family situations; To appreciate how life cycle influences and motivates succession decisions and actions; To consider careers and succession in a family systemic framework to identify the interdependencies and interrelationships of succession decisions.