A Truly Silent Business Partner? My Lullaby Begins

Marcia Morgado
Revised by: Nancy J. Rabolt , Judy K. Miler

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781474208796.0046
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Abstract

A married couple, one with a retail accounting background and the other with a merchandising background, have opened their own retail store that focuses on maternity fashion. The funding required to start-up the store was provided by a bank loan and the mother of the couple, who is now a silent partner in the business. The mother has volunteered to use her interior design background to help build the business’s first store. The husband and wife are equal partners in the business and so neither have official final decision-making authority. This has already presented problems—they could not agree on the right merchandise, quantities, vendors, and terms of purchase when they first went to market. Eventually they were both required to compromise, with neither being happy about the final decisions that were made. When they returned from market, frustrated and not looking forward to receiving the goods, they found that the mother, who has been left in charge of the decoration of the store, has changed the color scheme, hired an assistant store manager, and refused delivery of merchandise the couple ordered at market. The owners are unsure about these changes and are concerned about the future of their business. Diagnosis of the business problems and recommendations to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future are needed. Students will evaluate the decision-making consequences of being in a business where all partners are equal and none have the final say, and the issues that may surround partnering with family members in the workplace.


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