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Managing the Family Enterprise


Chirico F.

Course director


Why are some organizations more successful than others in dynamic markets - i.e., markets in which the competitive landscape shifts quickly and unexpectedly, and change must be promoted to survive? In other terms, in the competitive process, why do some organizations fail while others succeed? These are some of the central questions of the strategic management field of research and practice. This course aims at addressing strategic management issues within a family business context. The family enterprise is a predominant form of business organization which plays a crucial role in today´s economy and social well-being. It is estimated that family organizations, in various nations around the world, account for 65% to 90% of all businesses and there is great evidence that this phenomenon will grow over time.

Our objective is to strengthen students´ awareness of the significance, diversity, and complexity of family businesses; to develop their understanding of the distinctive advantages of and unique challenges facing family businesses; to enhance their ability to understand perspectives of different stakeholders in family firms and develop strategic solutions to improve family business performance; and to apply their business skills to address an issue or problem facing an existing family business.

Practical implications for family business management are offered. In particular, effective resource management, including knowledge management and resource shedding, is central to enable a family organization to have a sustainable competitive advantage over time. However, since feelings and emotions are very intense in family firms, family involvement in the business strongly influences resource-management processes in positive and negative ways.

Support material: case studies and articles.

No texbook

Final exam 50% - in class assignment and group presentation 50%

Enrollment required. Limited number of participants.