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The pleasures—and pitfalls—of mixing business and family

Work and family are the dominant, often warring, features of many lives, and there’s an increasing overlap even for those of us who aren’t related to our colleagues

A shoe-in: working with our families can bring rich rewards—or tensions. Photo: PA

It’s tempting to associate the family business with gentlemen bankers and bygone generations of butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Tempting but inaccurate, not least because for every Kongo- Gumi, the Japanese construction company founded in the year 578 and now in its 40th generation, there’s a Nike or a Facebook—sleek, savvy outfits that position themselves as being all about change even as they respectively groom sons and daughters as successors and fill prominent positions with siblings.

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