Tying the Knots: Can Emotional Intelligence Resolve Family Business Conflict?
The family structure is more complex today than it was in the 20th century. The traditional family structure ( father, mother, children) is changing and rapidly eroded. The social transformation of its definition and roles is gradually fitting to the needs of the society. It is no longer uncommon to find blended families composed of kin from current and previous relationships, associating with each other. Interracial and interfaith unions are also more common ushering a new generation where diversity is the norm. This new generation is also raised in an environment where technological advancements have changed how individuals and families relate to each other. Whilst, on the other hand, the older generation see management of family business rigidly, management operations should be done according to imposed written rules. The phenomenon is global, but the realities are more stark in Asia where cultures are more tradition-bound. Despite the trappings of a technology-based society, Asians arguably are innately spiritual and group-oriented. Bound by a sense of duty and filial piety, Asians, particularly those who have been raised the “Asian” way, may not be as responsive to changes brought about by the connected world. The notion therefore that family businesses should live the traditions of forefathers and be passed from one generation is now challenged. There is a need to research and create meaningful interpretations in relation with concepts of family business, conflict management, and emotional intelligence. There is a space missing to understand the family (emotional aspect and resolution) in the family business. In this doctoral research project, the author would like to explore the possibility of Emotional Intelligence as the missing piece in the puzzle to address conflict through an Asian perspective, specifically, Filipino family business.