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Family Ranch Morality


In Untouchables, Kevin Costner’s inaugural blockbuster of an illustrious and storied career, he takes on the role of Elliot Ness, leading an intrepid group to take down Chicago mafia mob don Al Capone during the 1930 Prohibition era.

Yellowstone represents Costner turning his end-of-acting career arc inside out as he takes his contemporary turn as an aging patriarch of the nation’s largest family ranch in Montana. In this popular mini series, the widower not only oversees his progeny, but the entire Dutton family empire —comprising a growing cadre of ranch hands/ rustlers, and land expansion keeping away natural predators, Native American competing claims on property, political bureaucracy, and commercial development.

As a business ethicist generally, and a family business morality specialist in academic literature, classroom, and the field, what remains particularly personally fascinating is the role of the corporate ranch and how everything comprises not only business, but familial dynamics.

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“And that’s why we don’t talk about business at the dinner table.”

Kevin Costner as John Dutton

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