The hottest emerging MBA program is dedicated to f

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The emerging MBA program is specifically aimed at the management of family businesses

after almost ten years of working in family businesses, Simon Kennedy returned to school in 2003 to learn how to run family businesses. This Dublin native of Ireland is exploring how to build a framework to solve many management problems faced by captec Ltd. Captec is a software company founded by his father in 1979

two years later, Simon, 33, received an MBA from Instituto de empresa in Madrid, and had a deeper understanding of how to continue to develop family businesses and expand wealth in the future. The research on family business and entrepreneurship "laid a solid foundation for my 73 year old father to continue to run the business after his retirement," Simon explained. "I also learned that running a family business is not just about managing a business, but also about entrepreneurship within a family."

there are more and more people like Simon, and they are all over the world. They all want to have a deeper and more systematic understanding of the way family businesses operate. This is particularly common in Europe, where there are thousands of family businesses in economically developed countries such as Germany, France and Italy. Most of these enterprises were founded by the post-war generation. Now they are old and ready to hand over the power in their hands. Therefore, many family businesses are actually facing a very critical and difficult problem of succession. Just when family businesses, large and small, are facing the problem of how to or whether to hand over power to the next generation, the management and execution courses specially developed for this purpose have also flourished and popularized

"until recently, most business schools have begun to pay attention to the topic of family business, and a few courses that are interested in this have paid too much attention to the most basic succession issues," said Timothy hubbershon, Dean of the Institute for family enterprise at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts

"but more and more such families have begun to explore a broader theoretical basis and consulting, especially in Europe, where family businesses are dominant. They are very concerned about how to cultivate a vibrant next generation of business successors and how to open up more sources of wealth for future generations."

this trend has prompted major business schools in Europe and the United States to offer courses related to family business research. New courses, research centers and specially designed seminars based on customer needs have mushroomed

Babson is an example. It is cooperating with two European universities to hold a seminar Summit on this topic. In July this year, SDA Bocconi School of management, Instituto de empresa and Babson will hold the first corporate leadership summit at Bocconi campus in Milan. The meeting will invite several generations of heads of famous family businesses in Europe to discuss how families can become the engine of business activities, how to start innovative businesses while managing existing businesses, how to deal with various risks between family branches, and so on. Several host universities hope to host similar summits in Latin America, North America and Asia in the future

IMD international in Lausanne, Switzerland, has the most extensive business cases of family businesses around the world. In less than two years, the number of customized senior management education programs on this subject has doubled. "More and more people know that there are these courses, and people also have a new understanding of this. They think that education can help family businesses operate better," said John ward, the contact director of IMD family business center and professor of Kellogg School of management at Northwestern University

one of the most popular projects of IMD is the one week "leading family business" seminar, which is held twice a year, and is usually attended by family businesses with incomes between 300million and 500million euros around the world

"I founded this small and medium-sized enterprise with two relatives, and we all hope to pass it on to future generations," said Edgar Norman, a 65 year old German entrepreneur. In the past two years, he participated in this seminar hosted by IMD twice. He said, "it's easier said than done to inherit the family business."

as the chairman of Nordmann Rassmann GmbH, a variety of chemical enterprises in Hamburg, Germany, Norman brought seven family members to the IMD seminar last year in order to smoothly survive the critical period of leadership change and handover. He and his relatives co founded the enterprise in 1912, and the current annual income reached 400million euros

"a week later, after the meeting, we left, but we have a new understanding of our business and family," Norman said. "The younger generation is more excited about the opportunities that may exist in front of them... And we also have new ideas on how to plan the structure of the whole group and achieve long-term sustainable development."

of course, a large number of similar courses have emerged in recent years, not just because of the needs of family businesses. Most business schools believe that people's views on how to treat family businesses have also begun to change significantly

Randel Carlock, Professor of entrepreneurial leadership at INSEAD, said, "it was not until the import of waste paper decreased by 34% in 2018 that business schools began to study the case of family enterprises, because everyone took it for granted that well-known enterprises - except start-ups - are listed enterprises, and family factors are not worth studying." INSEAD has school sites in Fontainebleau, France, and Singapore. "But business schools have now realized that family businesses are the most common form of business organization around the world."

in order to illustrate this point, karook took out a syllabus of elective courses related to family businesses, and pointed out that the controlling shareholders of BMW AG, Cargill Inc., Michelin SA, Henkel KGaA and other world-famous enterprises are all families

insead last year included Carlock's family business elective course in the e.m.b.a. program (similar courses have been included in full-time M.B.A. courses since 1997). Recently, a family business research center was founded with the donation of the Wendel family in France. The school also plans to launch a family business management course on the Singapore Campus when the school starts this autumn

"education for family businesses is very important, because it will effectively slow down the tightening of the PE market in India. It is the most common form of enterprise organization in Europe, and its operation is very different from that of other enterprises," said Priscilla de moustier, who graduated from INSEAD in 1983. "Family enterprises and non family enterprises follow different rules to operate their businesses, which is indeed worth studying."

she is a member of the board of directors of Wendel investment, which is controlled by the French Wendell family. The company's main investment areas are industry and services. Three years ago, she and 17 other members of the Wendell family participated in the training program for senior managers of family businesses organized by INSEAD

"that was great. At that time, our family business had spread to the ninth generation, and there were 750 shareholders. Therefore, although we were family members, the 18 people we participated in the training together didn't know each other very well. But after a few days of training, we had a consensus on the future vision of the group. If we hadn't had such an opportunity to get together, we wouldn't be able to listen to and understand others' ideas."

this family firmly believes in the importance of education in the development of family businesses. Last year, it donated 3.5 million euros to INSEAD and founded the Wendel Center for family business. Previously, they donated 1.5 million euros to help INSEAD carry out research on large family businesses

Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States said that they launched the Wharton global family alliance project last year to meet the needs of family business leaders for educational courses and related research, as well as research needs for a large number of activities in the fields of family business governance and wealth management. Families participating in this project have provided their own data and cases for research

with such a wide range of courses, business schools are bound to find courses that meet the special needs of customers. From family members, or non family members, what role, how to prepare, how to enter the family business, To the ownership of family businesses ", business divestiture and wealth management are all inclusive.

for the younger generation, it is difficult to decide whether to carry forward the family inheritance or sell it." we often see a family business spread to the second generation, or the third generation disintegrated, because the interests of parents and grandparents may not be the same as those of future generations. " Professor Joseph pistrui of Instituto de empresa said. "But most of the time, it's just a matter of observation. One of our main purposes is to change people's views on working in family businesses, hoping to help those ambitious people show their leadership in family businesses and find new business opportunities. This is not an either or concept, but a win-win situation."

in retrospect, Simon accepted the professor's point of view after taking pistroy's course on family business. He used the knowledge he learned in IE to spin off the business founded by his father. "In addition to bringing family members together to discuss future development plans, I also stripped out a special technology developed by captec," Simon explained. "I found that this technology has the opportunity to sell and grow in a new environment where family and non family members are both shareholders. I think this is the essence of family entrepreneurship." (end)

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