The new WIFU member Prof. Dr. Thomas Clauß publishes first empirical evidence of how family firms deal with the COVID-19 crisis. His study “The economics of COVID-19: Initial empirical evidence on how family firms in five European countries cope with the corona crisis” together with Sascha Kraus (Durham University), Matthias Breier (LUT University), Johanna Gast (Monpellier Business School), Alessandro Zardini (University of Verona) and Victor Tiberius (University of Potsdam) was just accepted for publication in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.

Abstract: This first empirical study on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on family firms allows initial conclusions to be drawn about family firm crisis management. Making use of an exploratory qualitative research design based on 27 semi-structured interviews with key informants of family firms in five Western European countries, we show how companies in all industries and of all sizes cope with the challenges of the crisis. Our findings also show that the crisis is bringing about a significant yet unintended cultural change. On the one hand, a stronger solidarity and cohesion within the company was observed, while on the other hand, the crisis has led to a tentative digitalization.