(By Navin Sregantan, navinsre@sph.com.sg, @NavinSreBT, for The Business Times)

Seven distinct leadership and organizational traits are key to the resilience of family businesses, according to a study by the Stewardship Asia Center (SAC).

The findings from SAC’s study of 200 successful and enduring family businesses from across Asia-Pacific found that these traits were helpful in overcoming the challenges in geopolitics, government regulations and disruptive technologies present today.

The first of these traits is the importance of having a clear corporate purpose. Other organizational priorities such as having a long-term vision, maintaining trustworthiness and the ability to be adaptable in the ever-changing economy were also found to be imperative.

Having a socially orientated outlook was also key for these business owners, with community awareness being a personal priority among those surveyed. The importance of social responsibility and care for employees were key traits too.

Meanwhile, another finding in the report also suggested that firms under 50 years of age (U50) had a different idea of business stewardship from those which were older than 50 (O50).

Among the key differences seen, U50 companies were found to have more faith in the next generation of leaders and believe that tech-savviness, values and new corporate culture will characterize the new generation of leadership, SAC said.

The center, which promotes stewardship and governance of companies and organizations across Asia, added: “More U50 companies than O50 ones used environmental, social and governance guidelines and consider these factors when making investment decisions for investing.”

In addition, the report found U50 organizations were more keen to create social impact, with most of them viewing their role as important to improving society at large and creating a good working environment for their staff. On the other hand, O50 firms see their top priority to the community as involving their employees in the community.

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