The EQUA foundation has published a recension on our study on value creation by family dynasties. In this recension, Dr. Rena Haftlmeier-Seiffert writes:
Thomas Zellweger und Nadine Kammerlander beleuchten mit vorliegender Publikation nun einen völlig neuen Aspekt in der Familienunternehmensforschung. Sie untersuchen die Veränderungen von Unternehmerfamilien im Laufe ihrer Geschichte aus finanztechnischer Perspektive und entwickeln ein 3-Phasenmodell […] Diese kleine Publikation […] sei jeder Unternehmerfamilie empfohlen, die vorhat, die Phase der Gründung und Etablierung eines Unternehmens zu überleben.
You can find the link to the full review (German only) following this link.
On a personal note: I have left the University of St. Gallen as of December 2015 in order to become the Chaired Professor of Family Business at the Institute for Family Businesses within the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Germany.
My new contact data read as follows (electronic and physical mail delivered to the St.Gallen addresses will not be delivered any more):
Institut für Familienunternehmen
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
Postal Adress: Campus Vallendar, Burgplatz 2, 56179 Vallendar, Germany
Address for visitors: D’Esterstraße 11, DG, 56179 Vallendar
Many researchers aimed to find out how CEO characteristics affect the performance of large, publicly listed non-family firms. But how about family firms, in which the CEO often has a specific role and long tenure? Is there any specific relationship between CEO age or education and family firm performance? HSG-student Tobias Schori aimed to answer this research question in his master thesis. He collected data on 142 listed family firms from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France in 2013 and finds the following:
Functional diversity of the CEO – meaning that the CEO had worked in several different functional areas of the company – has a significant, positive effect on family firm performance (measured as profitability)
There is slight evidence that the higher the education of the CEO, the better the family firm performance (measured as Tobin’s Q).
Interestingly, the positive effect of CEO education and CEO functional diversity exists for family firms with more than 25% family ownership – but disappears when considering family firms with 5-25% family ownership
Contrarily to what we expected, the age of the CEO and the tenure of the CEO did not significantly affect firm performance
The following table illustrates some of the key variables and in particular differences between family and non-family CEOs.
In case of questions or if interested in the full text, please contact nadine.kammerlander[at]whu.edu
… for the storytelling paper by myself, Cinzia Dessi, Miriam Bird, and Michela Floris! We are very happy and proud to be the winner of this prestigious all-academy award for the best international paper. The award was handed over during the Carolyn Dexter Award Ceremony at the Annual Academy of Management Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, on August 9.
Employees are a key success factor for innovation – but how to motivate them?
Recent research showed that family firms are, on average, very innovative. But why is that? One reason provided by scholars is that employees in family firms feel especially encouraged to share their innovative ideas and implement them because of the particular “family firm culture.” So far, so good. But some of the readers might wonder how exactly family firm owner-managers can motivate their employees to contribute to innovation. HSG-student, Johannes Netzhammer aimed to answer this question by integrating literature on family firms, innovation, and motivation. Here comes the summary of his excellent conceptual bachelor thesis (for references to original literature, please request the full text of the thesis):
Why are family firms more (or less) able to be successful over the long term as compared to other types of businesses? This is clearly one of the core questions of research on family firm research. While much research has been devoted to answering this question, our knowledge is still much fragmented. Thus, in this conceptual article, my co-authors and I call for more integrated research on family firms and their (dis-)advantages. We conclude that much research on, for instance, resources of family firms as well as governance structures of family firms has been conducted, but far too few effort has been dedicated to exploring the nexuses of those aspects.
Besides calling for more multi-theoretical theory building, the paper discusses, amongst others, the following topics.
“Goal ambidexterity”: We discuss three different types of family firms that are different in terms of their goals: Dreamers that focus on non-financial goals, traders that focus on financial-goals, and professional owners that manage both, financial and non-financial goals. We argue that professional owners (who possess “goal ambidexterity”) will benefit most in the long term.
We further discuss strategy formulation in family firms and note how an effectuation approach can be helpful not only for startups as discussed in prior literature, but also for family firms.
Moreover, we also discuss the different layers of governance that family firms need to be aware of: firm governance, owner governance, family governance, wealth governance. We highlight existing literature and discuss the interwoven nature of those aspects.