K.N. Kordonis & Co. S.A.: Are We All on the Same Page for Survival?


This is the case of a Greek family-owned business, K.N. Kordonis & Co. S.A. (Societé Anonyme, or Corporation), located in Northwestern Greece. The company is a well-known local firm with very close family ties, specialising in office supplies, computers, and books, that has struggled during the initial phases of the difficult process of succession, while facing extraordinary critical external factors working against it. These critical factors include a continuously shrinking market share, continuous hurdles in the company planning processes, and the effects of the Greek financial crisis that have set growth back and threatened the retail industry as a whole, especially with the dire consequences of a Grexit from the Euro, the European common currency, and even possibly from the European Community itself. This level of uncertainty has not changed much since 2014, when the events narrated in the case occurred. The case addresses the question of managing an established family business on a day-to-day basis for the members of the Kordonis family, which consists of the father, mother, and two sons, and a trusted young non-family key employee who has been in the firm for a long time, as well as the planning for succession to the next generation. Some succession decisions for K.N. Kordonis & Co. were in place and the succession process had already started (at least in the minds of the protagonists): it would have been just a matter of time before it would have been put into effect. However, the dark clouds that had gathered in the Greek business and financial sectors have interfered with the succession plans, or created at least a need for revision and re-examination. To that effect, an in-house direct questionnaire survey was administered to all four family members and the key non-family employee independently in order to gain a better insight into their views on important matters related to the succession process and the future of the family business itself. This survey looked into the environmental, psychological, and relational factors that might discourage the family from activating the succession process and making it official, and might prompt them to postpone its implementation until the business climate and the family uncertainties settle.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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