In the process of preparing a presentation on my research to deliver to students at Hanze University in the Netherlands, I discovered an organization whose members are generational family-owned firms that are over 200 years old. Called the Henokiens Association, this group shares common values which bring them together - values that echo the results of my research on 100-year-old companies in the U.S. and Japan. 200-year-old companies are unique in today's economic landscape and Henokiens members agree that it is these values that have enabled their extraordinary longevity, chief among them being respect for product quality and human relations, and special "know-how" passed with passion from generation to generation.
The Henokiens Association today consists of 40 member companies, most of them European plus several Japanese firms. Having identified at least three U.S. companies that qualify (in addition to being over 200 years old, the firm must be managed by a descendant of the founder, the family must still own the company - or at least the majority of shares, and the company must be in good financial health), I'm hoping to see American members in the future. If you know of a company that qualifies to be a Henokien, please let me know!