Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 997–1018 | Cite as

Family business groups in Thailand: coping with management critical points

  • Natenapha Wailerdsak YabushitaEmail author
  • Akira Suehiro


Using insights drawn from business history and business group literature, we develop a model to analyze how family business groups in late industrializing countries cope with management resource limitations that plague them in their pursuit of growth and diversification. A field study was conducted analyzing 215 family business groups in Thailand. Results suggest that family business groups will survive, and even prosper, if they are able to adapt their strategies and modernize their management styles to overcome three management resource limitations (or “management critical points”)—fund raising, production technology, and human resources. There is a detailed discussion of the different strategies that help to extend these upper limits or management critical points. We then divide family business groups into four types, which are based on their diversification and management strategies. We argue that their performances vary and that the modernized single business type and the modernized conglomerate type will be the future forms of family business groups, which will ensure that they remain competitive in the new global economy. Using our model, we conclude that family business groups in Thailand are still disinclined to make the transition to managerial enterprises, according to the conventional Anglo-Saxon model.


Family business groups Managerial enterprises Management critical point Employed managers Late industrializing country Thailand 



We thank Pasuk Phongpaichit, Pavidan Pananond, and participants in the seminar titled “Siam Then, Thailand Now: Creating Thai Capitalism during Two Eras of Globalization,” which was held at Thammasat Business School, Bangkok, Thailand, on the 13th and 14th of July 2013, for many helpful comments. The authors are also indebted to the editor of the Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and the two anonymous referees who made helpful and valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natenapha Wailerdsak Yabushita
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akira Suehiro
    • 2
  1. 1.Thammasat Business SchoolThammasat UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Institute of Social ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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