The Family Constitution: Agreements to Secure and Perpetuate Your Family and Your Business

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In each society, families vary in their extent of adjustment to accept norms owing to the family interaction pattern and external forces.


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The present article reviews the rapidly changing family scenario. Research studies on the family conducted in the past few decades in India have focused on various dimensions of family life that is, multiple forms, structure, size, changing functions, and individual roles. Such studies suffer from a lack of applied value and multidisciplinary approach.

The following review reflects these concerns by focusing on the researches conducted on the various aspects. These are grouped into million rural and 40 million urban families. Although the urban population is a quarter of the total, its increase has been significantly large and its increasing impact on the family is inevitable. One of the stark realities in India is that life is harsh due to lack of basic, civic, educational, health, and other infra-structural facilities in both rural and urban areas.

Nearly half of the urban poor families live in slums Gulati, Religious Composition of the Households The Indian population can be divided on the basis of its religious composition. In , the overwhelming majority forming The Hindus are divided into numerous castes and sub-castes. Although dogmatically Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Jainism do not approve the caste division, in practice castes or caste like groups also exist in each of them. Most Hindu castes practice the patrilineal family system, although in the south-western state of Kerala the Nairs and a few other castes practice, by tradition, the matrilineal family system.

Similarly, the Garo and Khasi tribes in north-eastern India are matrilineal though their matriliny is, in some ways, different from that of the Nairs. Family According to Indian Constitution India has distinct personal laws for families belonging to different religions and, therefore, do not have agreed upon goals about this important aspect of civic life. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jews, and Parsis, each community has its own personal law which covers matters of personal relations and family practices such as marriage and divorce, adoption, maintenance, guardianship and custody of children, and inheritance and succession.

As these laws draw from the respective religious norms, they often perpetuate traditional patriarchal norms, and slow down the process of reforms. Although Article 44 of the Constitution states that "The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India" Pylee, , p.

However, the interpretation and implementation of these laws leave much to be desired. Thus, there exist myriad policies for the family and its members. However, separate policies for family size, family laws, housing, children, youth, and so on, have independent objectives. In the absence of an overall family policy with explicit goals for the family, these policies affect the family in diverse ways with sometimes contradictory and negative outcomes.

During the post-independence years, studies on the Indian family were undertaken to understand the changes in family size, type, and composition as a result of the impact of modernization and urbanization. This period was characterized by many legislation concerning the Indian family see Table 1. The most important piece of legislation was the one passed in , dealing with succession, namely the Hindu Succession Act Pylee, It gave a woman full ownership in the property inherited or acquired by her.

Women inherit property equally with men now. Family may be broadly defined as a unit of two or more persons united by marriage, blood, adoption, or consensual union, in general consulting a single household, interacting and communicating with each other Desai, Figure 1 shows the conceptual framework of family structure in India.

Right from ancient times, family, caste, and community have dominated the entire texture of Indian society. Family has been the dominating institution both in the life of the individual and in the life of the community. There was virtually no scope to exit without being a member of a family. According to Census of India Ministry of Home Affairs, , Indian families comprise largely of nuclear family structure with joint families forming about a fifth of the total households Census of India, Kolenda reviewed the various studies on structures of families in India see Table 2.


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Family Characteristics Most of the demographic characteristics, socio-religious beliefs and practices influence the nature of the Indian family system and also reflect the changes taking place in it. The Indian family is by and large patriarchal in structure Kapadia, In a patriarchal family set up, all male members, that is, husband, elder brother and father, perform duties like decision making for the rest of the family, and their physical and moral protection.

This patriarchal set up is changing slowly towards equalitarian interaction among the educated, urban middle classes, and also among some rural set ups Mullatti, Even in matrilineal and matrilocal cultures patriarchy seems to be prevalent in the form of power held by the brother and not by the women herself. The establishment of the family system is believed to be mainly for the fulfillment of religious obligations like ancestor worship, begetting a male child and passing social religious traditions to the next generation. Patriarchal families continue to be patrilineal and patrilocal; and the lineage is based on the father's family.

The Hindu Code Bill of as cited in Pylee, has introduced a few changes in this system by allowing some share of the property to the daughter, inter-religion and -caste marriage rights, equal rights to women with respect to adoption, divorce, and remarriage. One of the few surviving bastions of women power are the Khasis of Meghalaya with a matrilineal system of family.

The power, wealth, and rights of inheritance are vested in the women. Basaiawmoit , however, found that with passage of time the matrilineal system has undergone dramatic change due to education, technology and politics. The younger generation is raising the issue to move towards some form of patrilineal system though the elders feel the existing matrilineal form should continue Saiborne, A significant aspect noted is the new economic order merging with the traditional pride in jointly owned property.

Today's big business houses like the Tata and Birla are all family ventures. So instead of the breaking of joint families due to urbanization and industrialization, more joint families are found in urban business communities Desai, Married brothers may have separate houses, but run a common business and meet regularly at a variety of family rituals. Hence, a large number of families in India are described as being functionally joint, with separate residence.

In rural India, though agriculture is the main occupation, there are not many large land holdings. This, and modern education and other related factors, make it difficult to maintain joint families Mullatti, Alternate Family Pattern The term 'alternate family pattern' suggests family patterns that result from personal circumstances outside one's control death of a partner, infertility or from certain socio-economic conditions such as male migration and work participation of women.

The Family Constitution: Agreements to Secure and Perpetuate Your Family and Your Business

In such circumstances people are forced to adapt family patterns that suit their conditions. Such families are, therefore, not mere lifestyle experimentations but come out of certain circumstances Bharat, In the Indian context, most family variations that are prevalent today are a result of such personal or socio-economic circumstance.

Experimental or chosen life styles like living without marrying and being childless voluntarily are restricted to an extremely small group of people. The unwritten rule was, and still is, that all marriages must result in children and preferably male children Gulati, The range of family variations seems limited. In the West, the family patterns reflect experimentation with lifestyles and seeking of alternatives to existing patterns.

In contrast, the Indian family variations suggest adaptation to socio-economic and personal circumstances that is necessary for survival. According to the traditional Hindu view, marriage is a sacrament. A number of studies have been conducted in an attempt to examine the impact of modern trends represented by formal education, urbanization, and industrialization. Changing patterns are being observed in areas such as age at marriage, inter-caste marriage, arranged versus love matches, matching horoscopes.

Inter-religious marriages do take place in India and there is a special law to support such marriages. However, they are extremely small in number. For the vast majority of people, marriage is always within one's religious group, and the family also, therefore, prevails within it. These religious groups have evolved since the turn of this century as legal, and some even as constitutional, entities and this has important consequences for the nature of marriage and family in each of them.

Although one of the directive principles of state policy laid down in the constitution determines that the state shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India, there is as yet no uniform law of family and marriage for all religious groups. There is enormous social and cultural diversity, hence the gap between law and custom within each religious group. The major mate selection pattern continues to be arranged by elders and parents even among highly educated urban communities and castes, although gradual change is observed here too.

The mean age of marriage for men is Higher age of groom is suggestive of more power, experience and better economic status. The age difference between male and female varies substantially Mullati, Values of Youth Towards Marriage The value expressed by boys and girls towards marriage in the contemporary society has changed. Table 4 shows that girls differed from their counterparts in expressing "marriages should be decided by the elders". On the other hand, boys strongly felt that selection of marriage partner should be left to statements the group did not differ in their values.

This shows clearly that values towards marriage in general have not changed much among the present college youth. They are still in agreement with the conventional values. Moral values towards marriage Girls have expressed that certain behaviors in marriage are wrong. They strongly disagree with the action of indulging in sex before marriage and they consider it as a sin.

Table 5 shows the perception of moral value of youth towards marriage. Economic value of marriage Marriage fulfils various needs of individuals. However, fulfilling the needs depends upon the economic resource that each partner brings in marriage. Table 6 shows that among girls, one of the strong feelings are their duty to support their husband economically. Psychological and social values of marriage The other psychological values of marriage were found similar among boys and girls except in relation to sex. Boys expressed a strong agreement to the statement "Sex in marriage strengthens the love bondage between husband and wife.

Regarding social values, mean scores of boys for the two statements namely "Women should tolerate ill treatment from her husband rather than going for divorce" and "Living together before marriage is essential" were found to be higher than girls'mean scores.

The former attitude expressed by the boys revealed the male dominance and later attitude indicates the modification in the value of marriage. Similarly girls opinion towards "Hindu marriage is a religious tie but not a contract" and "Inter-caste marriage lessens the problem of dowry have shown the girls" concern towards dowry in marriage and the religious sentiment of marriage.

The recorded mean scores for girls were found to be higher than boys see table 7. Another change in the traditional marriage pattern is visible in the practice of inspecting the prospective bride before marriage by the members of the bridegroom's family. A comparison of the difference between the joint and the nuclear families showed that the practice found greater spread in the nuclear families than in the joint families, indicating that nuclear families are more open to accepting new trends Lal, Marriage is one of the most important family formation variables.

The institution of marriage and the event of child bearing are considered so essential for family life that couples staying together without marriage, single parent families, and childless families are not accepted as complete or normal families Tata Institute of Social Sciences [TISS], Within marriage women do not enjoy any reproductive rights, these are exercised by the husbands and their family members, both with regards to numbers, timings, and sex composition of the children.

Though love marriages have gained momentum in recent times through the influence of print and electronic media, their characteristics remain distinctly similar to that of joint families which include emotional, instrumental, and financial assistance. Divorce In the Indian society, women derive their social status from their husbands. Since the time of Vedas 2 , the institution of marriage was of sacramental character among the Brahmins 3. For others marriage was contractual. Divorce was, and still is, permitted among the scheduled castes and tribes.

In contemporary India, there is now a legal provision for divorce. Studies from different parts of the country indicate that cases of marital disharmony or estranged marriages are increasing, but in the Indian urban and upper caste divorce as an alternative to marital problems is not widely put into practice Mullatti, Social relationships of the divorced couple often get disrupted. For example, mutual friends tend to take sides, holding one or the other partner responsible for the disruption.

Well wishing friends try to bring a compromise between the spouses. One of the partners may be left virtually friendless and be forced to rebuild his entire social world. The marital disruption also has a major impact on parent-child relations. They are predictive of the immediate and long term psychological and behavioral adjustment of children Amato, Cooney found that the children's feelings about a given parent were strongly correlated to contact with that parent in divorced families, suggesting that family relationships may become more voluntary after divorce.

In other words, the quality and frequency of contact, and therefore the relationship, is by choice. In contemporary research, divorce and re-marriage are viewed not as single, static events, but as part of a series of transitions, modifying the lives of children. In addition to the trauma of divorce itself, the transition related to divorce often involves geographic moves, the addition of step-siblings and a new set of extended family members.

Divorce followed by re-marriage can involve the introduction of parent figures with multiple roles and overlapping relationships. Taken together, these factors related to divorce have a direct impact on the life courses of children and may be specially challenging for the adolescent who is simultaneously involved in critical developmental transitions Hines, Husbands and wives go through high emotional tension.

The husband's relationship is marginally affected, whereas the wife's drastically changes. The wife moves out of the husband's house. If they stay in the same town, she does not enjoy same trust, confidence, and closeness as her previous counterpart does. She cannot make friends with her male colleagues, nor with married couples as the other women consider her to be a husband snatcher. Marital and Parental Relationships Husband-wife relationship is the basic and most important amongst the network of relationships on which a family revolves.

Healthy relations facilitate the spouses not only to perform their roles effectively but also help in the proper socialization of the children. On the other hand, marital conflict leads to familiar disorganization and has negative consequences on the upbringing of children. Thus, the quality of interaction between a husband and a wife has repercussions on the whole family. Parent-Child Relationships Parent-children conflicts with regards to individual freedom and double standards giving greater freedom to sons than daughters, is a recurring feature and has been noted in many studies Kurian, A girl child is allowed to remain a child only for short period of life.

It is always stressed that her relationship with her natal home is temporary. Parents tend to discriminate among boys and girls not only in terms of reinforcing speech, activity and play, but also in terms of food, education and other material possessions in India.

Many of the social customs and rituals favour or promote child abuse. Indian society makes a relative underestimation of girls and views them as a family liability. Girls get less autonomy and freedom from parents than boys Ghadially, Sibling Relationships Sibling relationship is recognized as unique among close human relationships because siblings share a common genetic heritage and common early experience within the family. The exchange patterns of emotional support are established among the siblings during early years Avioli, Sibling relationship is also marked by discord when paternal authority is weak or absent.

Such conflict is an important dimension of sibling relations. Herzberger and Hall a state that boys and girls may have different expectations when siblings are involved in the conflict.

The Family Constitution

Severe sibling violence was found to be more prevalent among boys. Furthermore, when younger children were victimized by an older sibling they sought help from parents. As joint family system is one of the basic features of Indian society, it becomes essential to consider the cordial and conflicting relationship between secondary relatives. Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships The mother-in-law occupies a dominant position and plays an important role in the social life of the daughter-in-law. This is one area where very few studies have been done.

Srivastava in his comparative study of folk cultures of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states of central India reported that in both the regions, usually the mother-in-law kept severe control over the daughter-in-law. The elder woman finds the younger was disrupting unity among brothers; the younger finds the elder to be intolerably demanding and dominating Madan, The relationship of women with sisters-in-law is another area which has dearth of studies although it is of great significance in a joint household.

Problems Faced in Family Relationships Marital problems A background of patterns of marital interactions, roles, and power in India is essential before we review research on marital problems. However, studies on family in India have generally concentrated on the joint family, with a patriarchal structure.

Insights: Moral Agreements & Governance in Family Business

It has been largely recognized that conjugal relations have little significance in the joint family Ramu, Consequently, marital interaction, role, and power have received scant attention. The few studies that are identified in this area are grouped and described below. Marital adjustment versus maladjustment Marital adjustment refers to a state of accommodation which is achieved in different areas where conflict may exist. Srivastav, Singh, and Nigam studied the effect of certain demographic characteristics such as age differences, duration of marriage, education, occupation, socio-economic status, and number of children on marital adjustment.

The analysis indicated that age difference between husband and wife highly contributed towards marital adjustment. Secondly, differences in educational level of the spouses were more evident in the maladjusted couples. Shukla observed that as compared to the single career couples, more of the dual career couples expected that the husband and the wife should be about equally responsible for the provider and the housekeeper roles, and evaluated the wives more favorably in the provider role and the husbands in the housekeeper roles.

It is interesting, though, that in both the groups, wives derived greater happiness in their marriages when they were satisfied with the housekeeper role and evaluated their husbands favorably in the provider role. Husbands, on the other hand, attached greater importance to satisfaction with and a favorable evaluation of themselves in the provider role and their spouses in the kinship roles. Thus, the working woman ends up playing a multiplicity of roles.

The main reasons behind the unsatisfactory relationship were lack of time to interact freely with husband and lack of time to provide adequate love and care for their children.

Article IV | The National Constitution Center

The other reasons were physical and mental exhaustion due to heavy and never ending work, indifferent attitudes of their husbands and in-laws towards their over work and inability both of them to gain control over the women workers earnings. In another study, Mohan and Singh studied mental adjustment of rural and urban couples in relation to their personality in terms of extroversion, neuroticism, and psychotism. The analysis showed that rural couples were better adjusted than urban.

Kumar and Rohtagi studied the dominance need of spouses and also attempted to identify personality factors such as intelligence and extroversion with reference to adjustment in marriage. It was found that husbands with high adjustment possessed a higher need of dominance, whereas wives with high adjustment were submissive. It was found also that couples with high adjustment were more intelligent, possessed high extroversive interest as compared to couples showing low adjustment. Kumar and Rohtagi examined the relationship of anxiety, neuroticism and security variables with adjustment in marriage and showed that anxiety affects one's adjustment in marriage.

Family Violence Family violence is a complex concept which encompasses wife abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse. Moores; Chicago: Praeger. Invent Reinvent Thrive by Lloyd E. Shefsky; McGraw-Hill, Inc. ISBN: X. Their stories are fascinating and the lessons gleaned from them, through many hours of personal interviews have been described as extremely interesting, invaluable and profound. ISBN: Shefsky interviewed entrepreneurs and draws on their experiences to highlight targeted lessons in entrepreneurship.

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This book explores how effective planning and communication helps family businesses around the world address growth challenges as they strive to become high Explores leadership transitions in family businesses, offering a clear-eyed assessment of the different options, from direct succession to building partnerships between siblings and cousins Why Others? Why me? Ward ISBN: The study and research of the role of family values and their impact on the creation of values. D ISBN: A framework of insights and principles in which 50 lessons for family businesses are presented using international examples, cases, essential tools and checklists of best practice.

The authors introduce the new concept of the Parallel Planning Process, explaining how to integrate the needs and expectations of the family and business systems in order to create an organic and entrepreneurial unit. This book is collection of articles by leading thinkers and practitioners on family business and it covers such issues as ensuring a healthy family business, family strategy, governance and succession.

This book shows how to build a dynamic board of directors that can enhance the ability to conduct business of owners of small to midsized private and family firms. Keeping the Family Business Healthy. Fewer than one-third of family-owned businesses survive until the second generation because owners or managers avoid making decisions about the company's future.

As a result, they fail to adapt to changing Aronoff, Ph.


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    This is a how-to book aimed at helping the cousin generation continue working together successfully. The two most effective practices implemented to protect and preserve the family business are "1 to build an independent board to strengthen the business and 2 to draft a Family Agreement to strengthen the family. This book explores the far deeper rewards--spiritual, psychological, intellectual, emotional and financial-- that can come from being an effective shareholder in a healthy family business. The current rapid rate of change makes ongoing success in a family business an increasingly more difficult challenge.

    This book provides a framework for all constituents to embrace change for the success of the family enterprise. A family's values can be among the greatest competitive advantages that owners can bring to their business. When owning family's values form the heart of a business culture, vital Sooner or later, every business family needs to formalize the structure and guidelines under which the family will own and operate their business.

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    production.ecolearning.org.uk/16.php Family businesses are now increasingly passed from founder to next-generation sibling teams. Brothers and sisters own and run Effective governance empowers leaders of the business and the family to make the most of the unique strength of a family business: The synergy between a strong, unified owning family If a family-owned company is to endure and provide the maximum potential opportunity for future generations, it must plan for provision of both adequate Whiteside with Craig E. How Families Work Together emphasizes how to build positive and constructive family relations by learning to make the characteristics and dynamics of family life Aronoff and John L.

    Family Meetings: How to Build a Stronger Family and a Stronger Business demonstrates the value of family meetings and how to effectively use family meetings to achieve family and Responsible and disciplined strategic integration of family and business goals, strengths and values produces powerful results for family firms. Significant strategic change is crucial Few challenges demand more of a business owner than passing on the family business to the next generation. Family members' lifelong hopes, dreams, ambitions, relationships, even Another Kind of Hero: Preparing Successors for Leadership focuses on how a family firm's next generation of leadership can effectively enter the organization and develop essential The success, growth and well-being of a family business depends on its ability to attract, motivate, develop and retain outstanding executives who are not kin.