A Kafkaesque case of succession in the family business

A Kafkaesque case of succession in the family business

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When facing a process of succession in the family business, It should be clear that the most complicated factors to handle are not legal or economic.

Photo: Google images

In order to unite the wills of the members of the business family, the most determining factor is always the human factor, which has to do with the relationships established between family members among themselves, of these with external workers and managers, and with the company itself.

As will be logical, the relationship that usually presents the greatest conflict is the one established between the owner and founder of the company (usually the father) and the successor (the son).

In this sense, obviously, the law or legal and economic advice can help to resolve conflict situations. However, the law cannot regulate everything, much less all family relationships.

It is no consolation to think of the many analogous cases of conflicting relationships that exist between an entrepreneur father and son. Not even the illustrious cases that occur in universal literature.

There is one, especially striking, which is the content in the work "LA CONDENA" by Franz Kafka. It is a 30-page short story, which is very autobiographical and tells the stormy relationship of a father with his son, with a family business involved.

The story begins by giving the son's vision of the business, recounting the spectacular growth he had experienced in the last three years, when, coinciding with the death of his mother, he took over it. Thanks to his hard work and his great conviction, business operations increased fivefold, forcing the company's staff to double. And all this, despite the frontal opposition of the father, who “he always wanted to make his opinion prevail in the business ”. The success encouraged the son to recommend to the father that he permanently withdraw from the business, where he played a residual role.

However, the story takes a radical turn almost at the end, when the father gives his vision of reality and tells that the business has been a ruin for years and that the son hardly contributes anything, as he spent the hours locked in his office "Just to write false letters" to an imaginary friend in Russia. According to the father, his son had created a distorted reality in his own head. He expresses it very descriptively:

And my son with joy for life, finalized business that I had prepared, writhed with laughter and passed before his father with the reserved face of a man of honor. (…) Make no mistake! I am still the strongest, I might only have had to retire, but your mother has given me her strength and I have your clients here in my pocket ”

Kafka's enigmatic account does not clarify which of the two realities, that of the father or that of the son, was true. Due to the tragic ending (which we will not reveal), it seems to be intuited that it is the father who tells the truth. In any case, what is striking about the case is how the same event, the family business, is viewed in an antagonistic way by each of them. These are two different visions of the same business reality. Like life itself.

Video: The Hindu Analysis for 12th August, 2020. Current Affairs for UPSCIAS (July 2022).


  1. Atif

    Yes it's the imagination

  2. Christoffer

    The exact answer

  3. Caolabhuinn

    It is an amusing phrase

  4. Rawlins

    I agree, this is funny information.

  5. Hastings

    Granted, a useful phrase

  6. Ashly

    I don't believe you

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