Entitlement in Family Business – Challenges

The great Indian management guru Chanakya said, “dharmasya moolam arthah” (money is the root of dharma). Nevertheless, like two sides of every coin, money can also be the root cause of all adharma.

One of the deepest issues many family businesses face is the problem of entitlement. Entitlement is when members of the family believe that they are automatically eligible to reap all the fruits of the family’s success just by virtue of having been born into that family. This of course starts manifesting in the generation after the founding generation and worsens with each succeeding generation.

Someone with an entitlement mindset is consumptive in nature, and is oriented towards maximizing what he receives from the family rather than what he contributes in return. Usually people with lower competence are prone to this mindset. It can also be triggered by a sense of anger towards the immediate elders, for various reasons including a misplaced sense of birthright...

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