BUSINESS AND FAMILY
BUSINESS AND FAMILYWhen a business family grows strongly, it can turn into multiple groups and large dynastic family associations. How do you include them all? read more
SUCCESSIONIn this topic, corporate succession is the focus, with all its revenue and inheritance tax implications, and with all of its implications for upbringing. read more
BUSINESS MANAGEMENTHow can a family business be steered in all its facets? This is where everything relating to corporate management is discussed. read more
FAMILY BUSINESSES IN SOCIETY
FAMILY BUSINESSES IN SOCIETYFamily businesses are firmly rooted in society. How can family businesses from different cultural backgrounds collaborate successfully with each other? read more
CRISES & CONFLICTS
CRISES & CONFLICTSBusiness before family? Or family before business? The focus here is on the dynamics and influence of the family on the business. read more
DIGITALISATION & TECHNOLOGY
DIGITALISATION & TECHNOLOGYNew technologies play a key role. How do family businesses position themselves to succeed in the age of digitalisation? read more
LONGEVITYIn this topic, the focus is on transgenerational aspects and the part they play in the longevity of family businesses. We look at the mechanisms used and planned to sustain a business into the future. read more
WEALTH PSYCHOLOGYThe WIFU research area for wealth psychology and transgenerational wealth management focuses on essential aspects of transgenerational wealth management in family businesses. read more
Family strategy encompasses all of the activities undertaken by a business family with the aim of professionalising themselves vis-à-vis the family business. This encompasses the values, regulations and definitions that apply within a business family and that are usually written down in a constitution. Working on a family strategy is one of the most fruitful yet challenging activities a business family can undertake.
Professor Dr Tom A. Rüsen, CEO WIFU Foundation/Managing Director WIFU
The family in a business is a competitive advantage that should not be underestimated, but it needs to be properly harnessed.
Professor Dr Marcel Hülsbeck, holder of the WIFU Foundation’s Chair of Management of Family Businesses
Business families are subject to special dynamics, tensions and challenges. These can only be understood from a combination of the viewpoints of sociology, social psychology and ethnology, and these must in turn take into account the broader social context.
Professor Dr Heiko Kleve, holder of the WIFU Foundation’s Chair of Organisation and Development of Business Families
Families and companies follow very different sets of logic as social systems. Problems and conflicts are the norm and should be expected. The actual academic challenge is to explain how many families manage to deal well with unavoidable differences and irreconcilabilities. It is this which must be learned: how can a family and company not only get along well, but also provide resources for one another which benefit both sides?
Professor Dr Arist von Schlippe, holder of the WIFU Foundation’s Chair of Leadership and Dynamics in Family Businesses
Legally relevant decisions have to be made and normative frameworks complied with in every business. The intertwining of family interests with corporate motives is specific to family businesses. Understanding this phenomenon from a jurisprudence point of view is a key focus of the law of family businesses across all of its topics.
Professor Dr Christoph Schreiber, holder of the WIFU Foundation’s Chair of Family Business Law
DEFINITION OF FAMILY BUSINESS GOVERNANCE
The term family business governance (or family governance) refers to paying equal attention to the way family and business issues are handled.
DEFINITION OF SME
The terms ‘Mittelstand’ and ‘small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)’ are used as synonyms for family businesses. But they do not describe the same thing.
DEFINITION OF SUCCESSION
Succession describes the efforts made to ensure that ownership, leadership and a sense of responsibility are passed onto the next generation.
DEFINITION OF FAMILY BUSINESS
Family businesses are companies that are wholly or partly in the possession of one or more families, who fundamentally steer the company and in which a handing over of responsibility to the next generation is envisaged.
DEFINITION OF BUSINESS FAMILIES
A business family is a family whose development is shaped by a company owned by one or more family members and in which a handing-over of entrepreneurial ownership to the next generation is envisaged.
DEFINITION OF SHAREHOLDER EXPERTISE
Shareholder expertise encompasses all of the skills and abilities of current and potential shareholders in a family business that enable them to successfully perform their function as owners.
DEFINITION OF FAMILY STRATEGY
A family strategy reflects the way a business family sees itself and defines how the family can remain a resource to the company in the long term.
DEFINITION OF FAMILIY CONSTITUTION
A family constitution is a legally non-binding document belonging to a business family and summing up its key guidelines for familial and entrepreneurial thinking.