Title page for ETD etd-04262009-154837

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Castanos, Ines Carolina
Author's Email Address carocas@vt.edu
URN etd-04262009-154837
Title Family Business Consultation: A Delphi Study to Develop a Model Curriculum for Marriage and Family Therapists.
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Piercy, Fred P. Committee Chair
Allen, Katherine R. Committee Member
Few-Demo, April L. Committee Member
Johnson, Scott W. Committee Member
Scott, William Committee Member
  • family business consultation
  • marriage and family therapy curriculum
  • and training
Date of Defense 2009-04-13
Availability unrestricted
Family businesses are a specific type of businesses that combine the family system with the business system. In this new system, emotions play an important role due to the long term relationships that exist amongst family members. This emotional component provides family businesses with unique advantages as well as challenges.

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) understand human relationships from a systemic approach. This specific training allows MFTs to be particularly well suited to help family businesses better deal with relational issues they might face by providing families with a different perspective for solution. Currently there is no consensus regarding the specific training MFTs should undergo in order to be better prepared to provide consulting services to family businesses.

To meet this need, the purpose of this study is to identify the content for a model curriculum for MFT graduate students in family business consultation. A modified Delphi method with a mixed methods approach was used to obtain the content that a model curriculum should have. The Delphi method was used to obtain consensus on the opinions of MFT experts in family business consultation. A mixed methodology was used to triangulate the data obtained and to enrich the data gathered from a quantitative analysis. The results of this study show that marriage and family therapists wishing to pursue a career as family business consultants would benefit from additional training in the following specific areas: multidisciplinary theoretical approaches to understanding family businesses, consultation as a business, differences between consultation and therapy, and supervised practice. These results allowed the creation of curriculum components that could be used for a family business consultation course, workshops, and other educational events. Specialized training can help therapists provide better services to family businesses as well as an additional career avenue for the field of family therapy.

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