How might families use a socioemotional wealth lens to measure success?

Socioemotional wealth lens

Overview and Objectives:

The members of the second generation of the Nguyen family have begun to enter the business. Each has entered at different times and for diverse reasons. The case centers on John Nguyen who is working in the family business and has received an attractive offer from an innovative and influential IT company.  He  had  worked  outside  of  the  family  business  for  a  number  of  years  and  has  also  considered  other career fields such as the priesthood. As the case opens, he must decide whether to remain in his family business or take the career opportunity offered by the IT firm.

Suggested Questions:

  1. How successful has Esquire been in attracting, developing, and retaining the next generation of Nguyen’s into the family business? How might families use a socioemotional wealth lens to measure success? What are the virtues and drawbacks of using this lens?
  2. What processes are used to orient and develop new family members into the business? Are these processes sustainable? That is, how likely are the current practices to be successful and scalable in the future? What practices or processes should family businesses like Esquire consider?
  3. Evaluate John’s career motivation. What information does John need to decide between beginning a career at Esquire and accepting the job at TechX?
  4. Identify steps families might take to help next generation family members make career decisions. For example, design a section of a family business constitution or charter focused on attracting and developing the next generation in ways that are consistent with Esquire and the Nguyen’s values.
  5. Should Esquire and the family seek to retain John or encourage him to explore other career options? Explain your reasoning.
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