Research in the field of family businesses –
supporting with real-life challenges.

The Chair of Family Businesses dedicates itself to the research of specific challenges of family businesses and the communication of these research results, including the mediation of solutions in business practice.

In the 21st century, family businesses have to reinvent themselves. Globalization and digitalization require innovations in products, processes and business models. In addition, employees have changed demands on managers and their workplace as such. Especially in a complex, insecure and rapidly changing environment, the management of family businesses and the adaptation to changing competition are becoming increasingly important issues. The Chair of Family Business therefore tries to answer the following questions, among others:

  • How can the innovation process in family businesses be designed effectively and efficiently?
  • How can disruptive change, especially digitalization, be dealt with? How are employees motivated to participate innovatively?
  • How must family businesses be run in the 21st century in order to remain adaptable?

What distinguishes family businesses from other types of organizations is the influence of family owners. How this influence is or should be designed has not yet been sufficiently researched. In this area, we focus on the following questions in particular:

  • Foundations, holdings, or family offices - what are the advantages and disadvantages of the individual solutions?
  • Which division of ownership is most advantageous?

Although the succession problem only occurs in very large cycles, often spanning decades, it affects every family business equally. Many family businesses put succession to the test and failed succession cases are repeatedly discussed in the media. On the other hand, succession can also be seen as a valuable opportunity: As an opportunity for change, reorientation and improvement. At the Chair of Family Businesses, we focus in particular on the following questions:

  • What role and influence do consultants have in the succession process?
  • What criteria do entrepreneurs set for their successors and how do they select them?
  • Under which conditions does succession lead to a standstill and under which conditions to change? 
Contact us

Cutting-edge research –
by Nadine Kammerlander

Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander

Head of Institute and Chairholder

+49 (0)261 6509 780
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Awards (Selection)

2019 Albert Page Award for Best Contribution to Practice (JPIM) N. Kammerlander
2019 Best Contribution to Practice Award, FERC Conference Larissa Leitner and Nadine Kammerlander
2019 IFERA Best Dissertation Award Jonas Soluk
2019 FIFU Best Project Award Alexander Fries
2018 “Top 40 under 40” by Capital Nadine Kammerlander
2018 Schulze Publication Award for Applied Research Nadine Kammerlander and Larissa Leitner
2018 FGF Best Family Business and Mittelstand Research Award Jonas Soluk and Nadine Kammerlander
2017 VuFO e.V. Best Project Award A. Schickinger und P. Bierl
2016 Academy of Management Best Paper N. Kammerlander
2015 Jürgen-Hauschildt Preis N. Kammerlander
2015 Carolyn Dexter Award N. Kammerlander
2014; 2015 Transeo Paper Award N. Kammerlander

Research cooperations

In our research projects, we cooperate, amongst others, with the following researchers:

  • University of Passau
  • University of Bamberg
  • University of St. Gallen
  • Zeppelin-University Friedrichshafen
  • Politecnico Milano
  • Loughborough University in London
  • University of British Columbia
  • Technical University Munich
  • Maastricht University
  • University of Trier
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of North Carolina
  • Texas State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of California Berkeley
  • Case Western University
  • University of Bern