Management of Family Businesses

Short profile


The overall objective of the WIFU endowed chair for the management of family businesses is to contribute to the continuation of the theory of family businesses. The family business research is closely tied to the questions of family-owned companies and also makes a practical contribution to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and “Entrepreneurial Firms”.

The transformation of the economy and society, which is becoming more and more global and increasingly dynamic due to digitalization, is particularly demanding for family businesses. Due to their resource-specific peculiarity, appropriate leadership and organizational structures are required that take into account the structures of family businesses. The Dynamic Capability Approach looks for factors that enable companies to cope with dynamic change in order to maintain competitive advantage over the long term. The focus is on skills for strategic renewal, which go back to structures, processes and employees. In addition to the research focus of organizational development in family-owned companies, another focus is the investigation of business model innovation. Among other things, this raises questions as to how innovation processes in family businesses can be made efficient and effective.

The chair mainly deals with the following research questions:

  • Which specific leadership and business models are used in family businesses?
  • What does Ambidexterity mean in family businesses?
  • What role do top management teams play in the ambidexterity context?
  • How can the innovation process be shaped in family businesses?
  • How can the innovation success in family businesses be increased?
  • How can the innovation process be shaped in family businesses?
  • What impact do corporate governance mechanisms have on family businesses?