All together now: strategy mapping for family businesses

Michael Braun, Scott Latham, Emily Porschitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to introduce a supplementary strategic mapping tool designed specifically for family businesses. The authors extend the popular tool of strategy maps into the family business arena to address potential misalignments arising from the family imprint on a business. The resulting family enterprise strategy map (FESM) aims, both literally and figuratively, to get internal stakeholders on the same page in their pursuit of family business objectives. Using the FESM, family managers can enhance strategy design and implementation, thereby increasing the viability and longevity of their enterprises for future generations. Design/methodology/approach – The framework draws from previous work on strategic maps, from scholarly research on family businesses and from the authors’ experiences consulting with family enterprises. The framework addresses four distinct but interrelated perspectives requiring managerial attention: family business objectives, family alignment, family systems and family business foundation. The case of Mondavi Winery is used to illustrate the prescriptive value of the FESM. Findings – The FESM is meant to be used cooperatively among internal stakeholders to tease out potential challenges that can hinder the effective design and implementation of a family business strategy. The FESM makes explicit the primary objectives of the family business, prompts stakeholders to voice professional and personal ambitions in the business and brings individual risk propensities to the dialogue. Systems and activities necessary for successful strategy implementation are also underlined in the FESM. Lastly, the framework helps to identify the strategic foundation that can be leveraged to achieve the family enterprise’s objective. Originality/value – The value of the FESM is threefold. First, having family members and non-family managers engage in this activity can make known individual, family and non-family functions, desires and goals. In doing so, the FESM also effectively highlights misalignments among and between various internal stakeholders that may otherwise go unnoticed. Second, the FESM draws management’s attention to specific family-related resources and capabilities within the company and, just as importantly, those that need to be cultivated to achieve strategic objectives. Third, the FESM can serve as a valuable reminder during those times when family systems begin to malfunction or to diverge from intended objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-10
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Strategy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2016


  • Alignment
  • Familiness
  • Family businesses
  • Implementation
  • Strategy
  • Strategy maps


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