This is an interesting article exploring some of the most common mistakes made by family members working in family businesses.

The general theme emanating from the article and the "common traps" identified, is that a family member shouldn't just rely on their name; they should work (and be seen to work) just as hard as everyone else and not seek special favours or subvert the chain of command.

A very interesting point made is that if a family member starts at a level that is beyond their qualifications, other employees are more likely to focus on patronage than performance as they look to progress their career.  It's clear to see that there can be significant disadvantages to the business by appointing the wrong person to a role (i.e. an under-qualified family member) but I doubt many think that this could actually have a detrimental effect on other employees.

Fortunately, in most of the family businesses I work with, there is a genuine desire to create a true meritocracy (even if one didn't exist when the incumbent generation came to the table).  This surely has to be best for the business as it operates in what will undoubtedly continue to be an extremely competitive marketplace.