Family Business


In the past, academic circles did not pay much attention to family firms, because it was assumed that relevant companies, with the exception of first-generation entrepreneurs, were highly professionalized and either state-owned or widely-traded. Business schools have come to recognize that family firms are an established form of business organization around the world and that family involvement in business is a complex and exciting subject, which is worthy of study. Managing the Family Business is addressed to students who:

  • are members of a business-owning family;

  • may one day work for a family-owned business;

  • may one day work as advisors or service providers to family-owned businesses (as accountants, bankers, consultants, etc.).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandre Wende Dias da Cunha


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Poza, Daugherty: Family Business, International Edition 4e (ISBN-13: 978-1-285-05688-3 / ISBN-10: 1-285-05688-4)
• Optional Textbook: Zellweger: Managing the Family Business - Theory and Practice, 1st edition, Edward Elgar (ISBN-13: 978-1-78347-070-9)

Additional reading materials (articles, cases, etc.), videos and websites will be made
available during the course.

Teaching method

Students are expected to prepare the materials announced in advance (readings and/or cases) and consequently to participate in class in a meaningful way (i.e. with inputs that improve the quality of learning of the class). The course will combine theoretical concepts with a practical view. The following methods will be used:

  • Lectures
  • Case discussions
  • Examples from real life experiences
  • Sessions with guest speakers(tbc)
  • Individual projects (optional)
  • Evaluation method

    The final exam is mandatory and must cover the entire span of the course. Its weight in the final grade can be between 30 to 70%. The remainder of the evaluation can consist of class participation, midterm exams, in class tests, etc. Overall, written in class assessment (final exam, midterm) must have a weight of at least 50%.

    Final grades will be determined by the following inputs, depending on individual students personal choice between two options (A and B):

    • Class participation: 15% (option A) or 10% (option B)

    • Group assignments (between four and six Shared Learning Papers): 35% (option A) or 30% (option B)

    • One Final exam: 50% (option A and option B)

    • One Individual project: 20% (option B only)

    Subject matter

    • Session 1: Introduction and Overview;

    • Session 2: Theoretical perspectives on Family Business;

    • Session 3: Family dynamics;

    • Session 4: Family Business ownership;

    • Session 5: Succession - the next generation;

    • Session 6: Succession - the transfer of power;

    • Session 7: Non-family managers and the family-owned business;

    • Session 8: Financial matters and estate planning;

    • Session 9: Family Business Governance: the role of the board;

    • Session 10: Family Business Governance: the role of family;

    • Session 11: Communication and fair process;

    • Session 12: Wrap-up and/or live case presentation.


    Programs where the course is taught: