In response to the statistics showing high mortality among family businesses, this study looks at a group of Spanish family businesses (FBs) that have demonstrated an ability to grow and innovate. Typically, these FBs have gained prestige in the Spanish economy not only because they have reached the top 1000, but also because they have stayed there for over 30 years. We collected data from interviews with the managers of 21 of the 64 companies that fulfilled both these conditions. Our aim was to learn from these successful business leaders what, in their personal opinion, had been the driving force behind their firms' success. The factors they mentioned included a set of values that successful business families have made a way of life. They are what we have called the "ELISA" values. These values are the bedrock of these firms' culture, inspiring top performance, reducing the cost of capital, and resolving other related issues that are made easy to deal with by adherence to these values.
family business; success factors; business culture;
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