Not sure how the ONS has come up with the comments below, given the worldwide acclaim for a lack of clearly aligned definition of what makes a family firm!
In the words of the ONS "To put it bluntly the management of family-run firms (which make up more than half of all manufacturing companies) is awful."
Clearly, we DO NOT agree and there is not really much evidence in the article to define 'awful' or the analysis.
It is well documented that family firms are the backbone of the UK economy and far be it for us to go on about the recent global scandals across many sectors of the economy (car manufacturers, financial organisations etc) where the firms in questions are professionally run and not family owned!!! It would seem difficult to apportion all of the blame to family firms in the way that this article does!
Finance may well be the most productive and centred around London but it is certainly not without its own challenges and if this sector is so productive and so successful, focusing on such a large and productive sector to improve efficiency and further increase productivity might be more beneficial than pointing the finger at the family business sector.
Outside of London too family firms are the bedrock of many communities and have been for generations and care needs to exercised as to the underlying purpose of the family firms in question - they are driven by very different value sets and therefore focus on the long term rather than short term financial gains too, something that needs to be considered carefully.
Family firms are by no means all perfect but they are good employers and generate a significant contribution to the UK economy and there may be room for improvement but the way that the piece below casts a lot of the productivity gap at the door of family firms is, to say the least, difficult to comprehend and based on what criteria?
We certainly need a lot more convincing!
That found well-structured management practices were better among larger businesses, multinationals and family-owned businesses that were not managed by members of the owning families. To put it bluntly the management of family-run firms (which make up more than half of all manufacturing companies) is awful. Nepotism At first sight this might seem strange, but there is a fairly obvious explanation. What are the odds that the best-qualified and most competent person in the world to run a business just happens to be the son or daughter of the current boss? Solving the productivity gap in the UK will not be an easy job, certainly better regional policies would help, but just convincing family- run firms to appoint competent outsiders to run their business would also have a huge effect.