Question lesson Business & Management

The European Family Model and influenced decision-making within the family

Outline the European Model of a family and discuss how each family member can play the role of influencing a decision with that family.

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Contemporary families in Europe have similar characteristics. The European family model is usually based on relationships in terms of presence of women in professional work, the father’s participation in his children’s care, the democratisation of family decisions and the encouragement of children’s personal social identity; for these to be achieved the family unit must merge the principle of respect for the individual and their autonomy and that of communal life (Commaille & Singly, 2013). The family dynamics work by mobilising each family member’s resources as much as possible, instead of all the decisions being made by and streaming from the head of the family. The European family can also be characterised by late marriage age, low fertility rate and predominantly non-marriage units (Rajkai, 2014).

Due to the decreased decision-making from it being solely vested with the head of the family and the encouragement of individual personal development and behaviour, a few of the factors that can have influence on the decision-making within a family are age, social status and social groups. This is because these factors can affect several areas of family life and behaviour such as, for instance, buying behaviour. For example, in the early stage of a family’s life cycle the mother and the father mostly affect the decision-making process of children in buying things due to being the role models within the family unit. With social status, for instance children might be influenced to buy certain things to reflect a projected social status that creates expectation in them, pushing them to adapt to this social image. However, such an influence will shift over time from the children to the parents due to the effect social media, school social circles and friends could then have on them, resulting in influence on the parents’ buying behaviour.


Jacques Commaille, F. de Singly. (2013). The European Family: The Family Question in the European Community. Springer Science & Business Media.

Z Rajkai. (2014). Family and Social Change in Socialist and Post-Socialist Societies: Change and Continuity in Eastern Europe and East Asia. BRILL.