How to Motivate the Fifth Generation? Balancing Engagement and Entitlement at Lee KumKee Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

In the mid-2013, the Lee family, which possessed the Hong Kong-based food and health product giant Lee KumKee (LKK), had to decide on how to increase the involvement of the fifth generation (G5), who were the kids of the company's current fourth-generation (G4) senior executives and governing leaders. Only two of the fourteen G5 members had joined the company, and few had expressed interest in further involvement, including in development programs and the multiple learning the business offered, like a mentoring program. Many of the G5 cousins had expressed little interest in business careers in general, and none of them now was serving as an LKK intern. G4 members detected that their children were busy with appearing professions outside the business, avocations, and family obligations.

G5's lack of interest in business and governance functions was the part of a growing pattern of low family engagement in general, demonstrated by the cancellation of recent family retreats (once an annual convention) because of apathy and some underlying clash. A history of breaks among previous generations of the Lee family regarding business direction made this issue worsen and even more significant. Students shouldconsider the challenge from the point of view of G4 family members David Lee, the chairman of the Family Office of the family, and his sisters. They were three siblings and they considered the next generation as the top priority, one related to key concepts including family business continuity, generational participation and empowerment, sequence, psychological possession, and intrinsic/extrinsic motivation.

PUBLICATION DATE: June 10, 2016 PRODUCT #: KEL949-HCB-ENG

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