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Spring 2021  ›  Bachelor of Science  ›  Bachelor of Science - 6th Semester  ›  Seminar

Seminar: Family Business and Entrepreneurship Research

Family businesses are one of the most dominant forms of organization around the world. The aimof this seminar is to study how family firms differ from non-family firms. The focus will thereby be on issues related to managing a family firm, from the perspective of the owners and/or managers.

Course Code:
EAI447
Lecturers:
Prof. Dr. Nadine Kammerlander
Course Type:
BSc Course
Week Hours:
2,0
Term:
Spring 2021
Language:
Englisch
Credits:
6
(Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.)
The aim is to offer a co-creation seminar within a collaboration between the well-known “Maschinenraum” in Berlin (www.maschinenraum.io/) and our Institute of Family Business & Mittelstand. Together with and for member family firms of the Maschinenraum, three to five student groups strive to identify co-creation opportunities, future customers, and market trends that might change the industry landscape and thereby affect the future competitiveness of the family firms.

Introducing Maschinenraum
Maschinenraum is a shared innovation ecosystem that brings together German medium-sized and family-owned firms (Mittelstand) to jointly create a future worth living for future generations. It creates an awareness of new realities and connects medium-sized firms as well as with thought leaders of our time. The goal is to provide decision-makers with an orientation to understand transformation issues, find solutions, and make better decisions by accelerating the implementation of ideas - alone and/or together with other companies.

The seminar will start with an introductory session that will consist of two parts:

  1. A brief overview of family firm research, incl. definitions and frameworks, and the tasks/ schedule of this seminar
  2. An introduction of the Maschinenraum and the different topics the individual groups will be working on

In the subsequent weeks, the students will work in groups (at least three students/ group) independently on one specific family firm topic (topics will be provided by us to choose from). With megatrends and a clear aspiration context, the student groups should foresee a spectrum of needs and therefore opportunities that are not yet existing from a nowadays perspective (or have a very low and not yet validated) awareness by the family firm decision-makers. In particular, the groups will search, analyze, and summarize future markets and potentially interview firms within the scope of the seminar (contacts to some firms can be provided).

Individual group coaching sessions with the professor/ assistant and/or the Maschinenraum will help the students to achieve their learning goals.

The course will conclude with the students' presentations of their results.

Grading:

  1. (10%) Midterm cross-presentation to share results among peers
  2. (70%) Final presentation of your group work & discussion
  3. (20%) Critical individual reflection report (1 page)

Learning goals:

The students will improve their knowledge and skills in the following ways:

  1. Understand the current challenges of family businesses
  2. Learn how family businesses could benefit from megatrends
  3. Increase their teamwork, analysis, problem solution, and communication skills by applying them in practice
  4. Creatively develop new solutions, e.g., by applying design thinking approaches, and by experiencing a “sharing” environment.

Date
Time
Monday, 18/01/2021
03:30 PM till 06:45 PM
Monday, 25/01/2021
09:45 AM till 11:45 AM
Monday, 01/02/2021
08:00 AM till 09:30 AM
Monday, 08/02/2021
05:15 PM till 07:00 PM
Wednesday, 10/02/2021
09:00 AM till 11:15 AM
Friday, 12/02/2021
05:15 PM till 07:15 PM
Monday, 22/02/2021
01:30 PM till 03:30 PM
Wednesday, 24/02/2021
11:30 AM till 01:30 PM
Monday, 08/03/2021
08:00 AM till 06:45 PM
The students will improve their knowledge and skills in the following ways:
  1. Understand the current challenges of family businesses
  2. Learn how family businesses could benefit from megatrends
  3. Increase their teamwork, analysis, problem solution, and communication skills by applying them in practice
  4. Creatively develop new solutions, e.g., by applying design thinking approaches, and by experiencing a “sharing” environment.
A list of references relevant for the individual family firm topics will provided at the first lecture.

Selection of important articles related to family firm management:

Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Sharma, P. (1999). Defining the Family Business by behavior.Entrenpreneurship Theory and Practice,23(4), 19-39.

Gómez-Mejía, L. R., Haynes, K. T., Núñez-Nickel, M., Jacobson, K. J., & Moyano-Fuentes, J. (2007). Socioemotional wealth and business risks in family-controlled firms: Evidence from Spanish olive oil mills.Administrative science quarterly,52(1), 106-137.

Kammerlander, N., Sieger, P., Voordeckers, W., & Zellweger, T. (2015). Value creation in family firms: A model of fit.Journal of Family Business Strategy,6(2), 63-7

Miller, D., & Le Breton-Miller, I. (2005). Management insights from great and struggling family businesses.Long Range Planning,38(6), 517-530.

Sirmon, D. G., & Hitt, M. A. (2003). Managing resources: Linking unique resources, management, and wealth creation in family firms.Entrepreneurship theory and practice,27(4), 339-358.

Tagiuri, R., & Davis, J. (1996). Bivalent attributes of the family firm.Family business review,9(2), 199-208.

Lecture / Presentations / Discussions / Coaching Sessions
Presentation of your group work & discussion

Critical individual reflection report

The motivation to understand the specifics of family firms and the willingness to work with groups on a practice-oriented case.
180