“Parents want to be fair to all their children. When their offspring work together in the business, it isn’t always easy to figure out the best way to do it. Parents can certaintly create conditions that make sibling partnerships possible, through mentoring, training, discussions of partnership options at an early age, and through an equitable distribution of ownership.”

As the personalities of two siblings shine through their work in a family business, experts Bonnie M. Brown, Catherine McCarthy, Kenneth Kaye, and Kelin E. Gersick weigh in on the unequal division of labor between sons and the role of parents. ‘Equal’ treatment of the next generation, while intuitively compelling, may not be the fairest course of action in a family enterprise.

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