Excellence in

Managing the family business
Contacts hour per week
May, Peter
Koeberle-Schmid, Alexander
  • Term definition, meaning and charactistics of family businesses
  • Differences between family businesses and non family businesses
  • Concepts of family businesses
  • Strategic management of the business owning familiy
  • Strategic management of the family owned business, esp. their
  • - corporate strategy
  • - corporate finance
  • - corporate governance
Course description
1. Discipline-specific knowledge and competence - Students acquire in-depth knowledge concerning major concepts and instruments needed for the successful management of family businesses.
2. Management-specific skills - Students will learn how to analyze family and firm structures to develop a sound corporate and family governance.
3. Global business environment - Students learn about the complexities of managing the family firm and the owner family.
4. Teamwork and responsible leadership - Classes will be very interactive. Students have to solve case studies and are provided with numerous practical examples.
5. Critical thinking and problem solving skills - Students have to analyze complex situations and consequently develop recommendations.
6. Managerial and entrepreneurial practice - Students will learn to recognize and deal with the advantages and challenges of family firms with the help of examples and case studies.
Teaching methods
Lecture, Case Studies/Theoretical Paper and Discussion
  • Aronoff, C./Astrachan, J./Ward, J. (Edt.) (2002): Family Business Sourcebook, 3rd Edition, Mariette, GA
  • Colli, A. (2003): The Histor< of Family Business, 1850-200, Cambridge
  • May, P. (Hrsg.) (2008): Das INTES-Handbuch Familienunternehmen, Bonn
  • May, P. (2008): Leading the Family Business - Why creating an owner strategy must come first for family businesses, in: OWP - Orchestrating Winning Performance - Book, Edited by Bettina Büchel, Stuart Read, Anna Moncef with Sophie Coughlan, Riding the Winds of Global Change, Lausanne: IMD
  • Ward, J. (2005): Unconventional wisdom, IMD Lausanne
  • Plus additional readings distributed before or after lectures.
Method of examination
Exam 50 %
Case Study/Theoretical Paper 50%