For years, we have known that family-owned businesses make significant contributions to the U.S. economy by generating approximately half of our nations GDP, employing 85% of the private sector, and creating 86% of all new jobs, among many other factors. However, despite such contributions, the succession rate among family-owned firms drops significantly with each generation. It is estimated that 30% succeed in transitioning from the first to second generation and the third and fourth generations successfully transition at a rate of 12% and 4%, respectively.   

My colleague, Francois Jacobs, and I are administering the study through two instruments (F-PEC Scale and Family Climates Scale). It is our hope that through this study we can collect enough data to advance our understanding of family business dynamics in the restoration industry. We also hope to develop an understanding of the health of family firms in the restoration industry and perhaps find answers to some of the following questions:

  1. What behavioral patterns exist among family owned firms?
  2. How cohesive (healthy) are the relations among the family members of family owned restoration firms?
  3. How are decision made?
  4. How are generations perceived by family members?
  5. Are there areas where specialized training may serve to benefit family members of family owned restoration firms?

Finally, the incentive is that we will all learn from this and hopefully we all become better. We want business owners to have a deep understanding of who they are as members of family-owned firms and how healthy relationships can lead to wonderful blessings in life and in business. Perhaps consultants and service providers can gain insight for serving the needs of family-owned firms.

As for research, this is a first of its kind for the restoration industry; therefore, (1) we look forward to sharing our findings, and (2) we hope to identify several paths for future research. It is important that we identify practical needs of the industry and let that guide our research so we can bring real value to the industry.

If you are at least 18 years old and a participating family member of a U.S.A. based family owned restoration firm that provides emergency, restoration, or reconstruction services please take this survey.  The survey is brief, will take approximately 6 to 10 minutes to complete, and is completely anonymous.

Dr. Jacob Avila and Dr. Francois Jacobs are full-time faculty at California Baptist University. Through California Baptist University, they are conducting a study to examine behavioral patterns, cultural dimensions, cohesion, and decision making practices within family firms in the restoration industry. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this study, please contact Dr. Jacob Avila by e-mail at or by phone at 951-343-3942.