Interview on family firm management on YouTube

During the EIASM conference, I was interviewed on family firm management.

The key questions were:

  • How are family firms defined?
  • What are the research challenges regarding family firms?
  • What are the biggest challenges that family firms have to face today?


You can find the full-length YouTube interview with my answers here.

Transeo Academic Award 2015

Our qualitative study on the trusted advisor’s role adjustment during the succession process and the advisor’s affect on his or her clients’ emotions has been voted as “best presented paper” at the Transeo General Assembly in Liège, Belgium.


Transeo award
Transeo award
Gala Dinner
Gala Dinner

The paper is part of Alexandra Michel’s PhD thesis. Based on interviews and archival material on 5 recent succession phases, we find that

  • The advisor changes his or her role during the succession process from that of a “psychologist” to a “project planner”, then a “doer”, and ultimately a “coach”.
  • Only when the advisor fully changes his or her role (and isn’t stuck, for instance, in the role of a “doer”), also incumbent and successor can adjust their own roles (something that, as Wendy Handler told us 21 years ago, is very important for the outcome of the succession process!). In other words, satisfaction of incumbent and successor is only high in the end, if role adjustment fully took place.
  • Negative emotions cannot and should not be fully avoided throughout the succession process. Indeed the advisor needs to trigger phases of negative emotions and dissatisfaction in order to advance the process. It is, however, also in the responsibility of the trusted advisor to help the clients overcome this negative emotions.

In case your interested in the presentation or the full paper, let me know via email [nadine.kammerlander AT] or via the contact formula.

Do family businesses lose innovative capacity over time?

Is the succession phase a threat or opportunity for innovation? And, do family firms sufficiently build on external sources of innovation?

These and other questions were discussed in an interactive (“brain walk”) workshop session, moderated by Prof. Reinhard Prügl, and myself at the Friedrichshafener Familienfrühling 2015 (“FFF”). The FFF is a bi-annual, two-day conference organized by the Zeppelin University, targeted at family business owners and managers. Although quite large in size (roughly 200 participants), the atmosphere was amazingly informa, familiar, and cordial.

Interested in the results? Write me an e-mail (nadine.kammerlander [at] or wait for the Springer Essentials book to be launched in summer (in German only).

Hermut Kormann presenting the workshop results
Hermut Kormann presenting the workshop results