The power of oral tradition in family business – Continued

Our Shastras say, “angīkaraṁ suhṛdena paripālayanti” – one must carry out wholeheartedly what one has agreed upon. Oral cultures work when there is high collectiveness and exceptional clarity of thought, when there is high trust and great authority.

However, when this oral culture meets a highly documented Western culture, it gives rise to many problems. More and more, with increasingly transactional relationships, oral contracts are not a viable option anymore.

Going back to our strange case of the omission in the will, what do you think happened next?

Will you be surprised if the heirs accepted the close friend’s declaration and set apart 10% of the wealth for charity before dividing up the rest? Well, that’s exactly what happened! They trusted their father’s friend and believed he was only communicating their father’s wishes.

Read more:

6 ways to build your family’s human capital 

What Influences Culture in Family Businesses?

Keywords: oral tradition, culture, transactional relationship, will, omission, trust

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