The WIFU-Team


Work at the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) is very diverse. In the academic field, it includes research and training, while practical exchange involves organising up to 30 academic and teaching courses each year. The staff permanently employed at the Institute, our visiting academics and doctoral and scholarship holders are all passionate about research, training, development and the education of potential successors in family businesses as well as organising an exchange of practice and experience among family entrepreneurs and members of business families. For the people who work at the WIFU, their work is not just a career, it is a calling.

Board
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Anne Katarina Heider
Co-Director of the Witten Institute for Family Business
Phone: +49 2302 926 534
Prof. Dr. Heiko Kleve
Managing and Academic Director/ Chairholder Organisation and Development of Business Families
Phone: +49 2302 926 538
Institute management

The Institute’s management team is involved mainly in acquiring and publishing research findings for business. Actual issues from industry and business are compiled on an academic basis and, in collaboration with WIFU academics, are evaluated and presented in practical terms. Practical guidelines, studies and publications are made available to the public through a range of communication channels and media. This approach is augmented by a programme of events for family businesses and business families hosted by members of the team at the WIFU Foundation. Our events management team organises events for supporters at the WIFU Foundation as well as a range of independent, interactive event formats aimed at conveying experience reports and academic findings designed to help family businesses and business families prepare for the future.

Both teams work closely to disseminate the knowledge generated at the WIFU among the non-academic public. Fundraising conducted by the WIFU Foundation ensures that the Institute can continue and implement its research strategy.

PUBLICATIONS (SELECTION)


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Jun.-Prof. Dr. Anne Katarina Heider
Co-Director of the Witten Institute for Family Business
Phone: +49 2302 926 534
Prof. Dr. Heiko Kleve
Managing and Academic Director/ Chairholder Organisation and Development of Business Families
Phone: +49 2302 926 538
Professors at WIFU
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Anne Katarina Heider
Co-Director of the Witten Institute for Family Business
Phone: +49 2302 926 534
Prof. Dr. Thomas Clauß
Chairholder Corporate Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation in Family Businesses
Phone: +49 2302 926 541
Prof. Dr. Thomas Druyen
Research and visiting professor for wealth psychology and transgenerational wealth management in business families
Phone: +49 2302 926 553
Prof. Rainer Kirchdörfer
Honorary Professor at the Chair of Family Business Law
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Prof. Dr. Heiko Kleve
Managing and Academic Director/ Chairholder Organisation and Development of Business Families
Phone: +49 2302 926 538
Prof. Dr. Rainer Kögel
Honorary Professor at the Chair of Family Business Law
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen
Managing Director of the non-profit WIFU Foundation
Phone: +49 2302 926 519
Prof. Dr. Christoph Schreiber
Chairholder Department of Family Business Law
Phone: +49 2302 926 559
Prof. Dr. Fritz B. Simon
WIFU Founding Professor
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Prof. Dr. Arist von Schlippe
Chairholder of Leadership & Dynamics in Family Businesses
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wimmer
Extrabudgetary Professor for Leadership & Dynamics in Family Businesses
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Visiting professors
Prof. Dr. Joseph H. Astrachan
Visiting Professor at the research and teaching area "Leadership and Dynamics in Family Businesses"
Prof. Dr. Jörn Hendrich Block
Visiting Professor at the Research and Teaching Department for Management of Family Businesses
Prof. Dr. iur. Knut Werner Lange
Visiting Professor at the research and teaching area "Law for Family Businesses"
Prof. Dr. habil. Steffen Roth
Visiting Professor at the research and teaching area "Organisation and Development of Business Families"
Academic assistance
Dr. Britta Boyd
Senior Researcher at the Chair of Organisation and Development of Business Families
Phone: +49 2302 926 513
Selin Güngören
Researcher at the Endowed Chair of Family Business Law
Lina Nagel
Researcher at the Chair of Organisation and Development of Business Families
Phone: +49 2302 926 515
Dominik Spannekrebs
Researcher at the Endowed Chair of Family Business Law
Phone: +49 2302 926 515
Dr. Felix Lorenz
Senior researcher at the Chair of Corporate Entrepreneurship and Digitalisation in Family Businesses
Benjamin Ziegs
Researcher at the Endowed Chair of Family Business Law
Scholarship holders
Matheus Franco
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Muhammad Anwar
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Theresa Arnold
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Andrea Gerlitz
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation/ Research Fellow Chair of Management of Family Businesses
Solvej Lorenzen
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Marc André Scheffler
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Yaran Xiao
Scholarship holder of the WIFU Foundation
Secretarial staff
Sabrina Maier
Executive Assistant / Secretariat WIFU Foundation
Phone: +49 2302 926 510
Nicola Mehringer
Secretary at the Chair of Management of Family Businesses, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Digitisation, Family Business Law, Leadership and Dynamics in Family Businesses
Phone: +49 2302 926 78669
Sandra Wiegard
Secretariat managing and academic director / Chair of Organisation and Development of Business Families/ Research Area „Family Entrepreneurship and Innovation"
Phone: +49 2302 926 513
(Senior) Research Fellows & Lecturers
Dr. Matthias Breier
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Sigrun C. Caspary
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +49 2302 926 520
Dr. Maike Gerken
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +49 2302 926 554
Prof. Dr. Caroline Heil
Senior Research Fellow
PD Dr. Tobias Köllner
Project manager "The social, cultural and religious embeddedness of family firms and business families"
Phone: +49 2302 926 541
Prof. Dr. Hermut Kormann
Senior Research Fellow
Phone: +49 731 378 800 59
Dr. Ann Sophie Löhde
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Fynn-Willem Lohe
Senior Research Fellow
Prof. Dr. Markus Plate
Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Thomas Urban
Senior Research Fellow


The Department of Organisation and Development of Business Families researches the family side of family businesses. Based on a range of social science perspectives, we investigate what it means for members of business families to be born into this type of family.

Prof. Dr. Heiko Kleve
Managing and Academic Director/ Chairholder Organisation and Development of Business Families

I have enjoyed being part of the WIFU for almost 10 years. During this time, I have been able to assist in a number of fundamental developments. It never gets boring – it is fun working in a team, dealing with varied daily affairs and having the freedom to contribute part of oneself.

Sabrina Maier
Executive Assistant / Secretariat WIFU Foundation

I have been steering the WIFU’s fortunes for over 10 years. During this time, working with researchers and family entrepreneurs has become a labour of love. I would not hesitate to say that I have the world’s best job. My career is my calling.

Prof. Dr. Tom A. Rüsen
Managing Director of the non-profit WIFU Foundation

CAREERS AT WIFU


The WIFU offers various jobs and opportunities for funding in research and training. Learn about the latest offers here.

Careers at WIFU