09.01.2023: The article "What Drives Innovation in Family Farms? The Roles of Socioemotional Wealth and Diverse Information Sources" by Elena Fuetsch was recently accepted for publication in the European Journal of Family Business.
This article investigates socioemotional wealth (SEW) and diversity of information sources as innovation drivers in family farms. A sample of 911 family farms was used for linear regression analysis. The SEW dimension identification of the family members with the farm positively affects the implementation of innovation measures. Diversity of information sources is also positively linked to innovation measures. However, it has a negative moderating effect on the relationship between identification and innovation measures. While diverse information sources seem to increase a family farm’s ability to innovate, it can also mitigate the farms willingness to innovate when information is ambiguous. The study integrates knowledge from agricultural, innovation and family business research and contributes to a better understanding of the peculiar business type “family farms”.
The article is a part of the cumulative dissertation project of Elena Fuetsch at the Research Institute for Family Business supervised by Hermann Frank and Alexander Kessler with Miriam Bird (Technical University of Munich) as external supervisor.
25.11.2022: The article “The influence of familiness on decision-making quality in top management teams: The role of emotional dissonance and perceived team support” was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Family Business Strategy and is available online now.
In this article, Laura Hoekx, Frank Lambrechts, Pieter Vandekerkhof, Wim Voordeckers and Hermann Frank address the relationship between familiness, approached from a new systems theory perspective, and decision-making quality in family firm top management teams. They focus on two potential explanations of this relationship by examining the mediating role of emotional dissonance and perceived team support. A hand-collected multiple-respondent dataset of 212 top managers from 45 Belgian family firm TMTs shows a positive relationship between familiness and decision-making quality, mediated by the level of perceived team support. Moreover, familiness decreases the level of emotional dissonance experienced by these top managers.
A substantial part of the development of this article was done by Laura Hoekx during her research visit at the Research Institute for Family Business.
29.09.2022: Our article “The enterpriseness of business families: Conceptualization, scale development and validation” was recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Family Business Strategy and is available online now.
In this article, Hermann Frank, Alexander Kessler, Susanne Beck, Julia Suess-Reyes and Elena Fuetsch address the importance of the business family for the functioning of both the business and the family. We present the concept of the enterpriseness of business families (the ability to handle the potentially contradictory expectations of the family and business systems) and develop and validate a scale for measuring the enterpriseness of business families.
Link to the article: https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1fqae6g~S296nK
New book publication
Our new book published by Facultas is now available! It takes a comprehensive look at digitalization in family businesses and offers interesting conclusions about the most important success factors. By taking a qualitative as well as a quantitative methodical approach, it provides an ideal basis for reflections for both researchers and managers. We wish you an exciting and insightful reading!
Alexander Kessler is the new head of the FoFU
After 12 years of very successful and highly acknowledged leadership, Hermann Frank handed the FoFU over to Alexander Kessler as of 1.1.2022. Sincere thanks to Hermann Frank for all he has done for the FoFU and especially the team behind! All the best to Alexander Kessler in his new position and for the work ahead!
2020 Emerald Literati Awards: Highly Commended Paper
We are proud to announce that our paper "PRINCIPLES FOR INNOVATION MANAGEMENT IN FAMILY FIRMS: AN ANALYSIS OF LONG-TERM SUCCESSFUL GOOD-PRACTICES WITH A PRACTITIONER VALIDATION OF THE PRINCIPLES" has been selected as a Highly Commended Paper in the 2020 Emerald Literati Awards for being one of the most exceptional pieces of work throughout 2019. Congratulations to the authors Hermann Frank, Alexander Keßler, Christine Bachner, Elena Fuetsch and Julia Süss-Reyes!
FoFU contributes substantially to successful G-Forum at WU Vienna:
Members of the Research Institute for Family Business took leading functions in the G-Forum conference: Alexander Keßler acted as Conference Co-Chair and Hermann Frank and Alexander Keßler were responsible for the conference program. Hermann Frank is a former member of the FGF Chair and brought the G-Forum to Vienna. With about 300 participants, this conference in Vienna counts as one of the most successful annual G-Forum conferences.
FOFU is 10 years old!
In celebration of FoFU’s 10-years anniversary, we proudly present a report of our performances since the very beginning. Please click here to read about our work: FOFU 10-year performance report.
- 10-Jahresbericht_web.pdf (pdf, 3,21 MB)
FoFU researchers receive Department Performance Bonuses
We congratulate Hermann Frank and Alexander Keßler on receiving Department Performance Bonuses for Journal Publications 2019 for their following contributions:
Hasenzagl, Rupert, Hatak, Isabella, Frank, Hermann. 2018. Problematizing Socioemotional Wealth in Family Firms: A systems-theoretical Reframing. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 30 (1-2), 199-223.
Kump, Barbara, Engelmann, Alexander, Keßler, Alexander, Schweiger, Christina. 2018. Toward a Dynamic Capabilities Scale: Measuring Organizational Sensing, Seizing, and Transforming Capacities. Industrial and Corporate Change (ICC), 1-24.
FoFU researchers receive WU - awards
June, 2018. We are proud to announce that the WU awarded three of our researchers for their extraordinary performances in 2017. Prof. Hermann Frank was awarded for the acquisition of external research funds. Elena Fuetsch, MA and Dr. Julia Suess-Reyes received an award for their outstanding research performance. Congratulations!
„Heinrich Stremitzer-Preis“ awarded to Julia Süss-Reyes and Elena Fuetsch
On April 26, 2018, Julia Süss-Reyes and Elena Fuetsch were awarded with the „Heinrich Stremitzer-Preis“ (1st and 2nd place) for their publication performance in 2017.
The prize was financed by the “Verein für Projekte der Forschung und Lehre” and handed over by Maren Stremitzer, Prof. (emeritus) Heinrich Stremitzer’s wife, and Prof. (emeritus) Josef Mugler. We congratulate the award winners!
Rising Stars in Family Business Research
10.04.2018. We are very happy that our recent article on the development of the Family Influence Familiness Scale (FIFS) in ET&P is mentioned among the “Rising Stars in Family Business Research”. The ranking was developed by the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and comprises the 10 most cited papers published in the last three years (according to Web of Science). For further information on the ranking please visit: rising stars Family Business research
Opening Conference - “Governance and Succession in Family Business"
21./22.03.2018. Hermann Frank and Julia Süss-Reyes took part in the opening workshop and conference of the Corvinus Center of Family Business at Corvinus University of Budapest. The conference was dedicated to the topic “Governance and Succession in Family Business – Where are we now, and what can we learn from international practice?”. Hungary records many first-generation family businesses that are currently confronted with family business succession. Therefore, the opening of the first Family Business Center in Hungary seems especially timely and relevant. At the opening conference, almost 200 participants – international family business researchers as well as owners and leaders of significant Hungarian and foreign family businesses – shared their experience and engaged in lively discussions. Together with Prof. Horváth (University of Stuttgart, Chairman of the Péter Horváth Stiftung which is co-founder of the center) and Prof. Kirchdörfer (Witten/Herdecke University, executive board member of Stiftung Familienunternehmen which is co-founder of the center) and Dávid Boross (CEO and co-owners of Oázis Kertészet Kft.), Hermann Frank also took part in a podium discussion on succession from a multi-generational perspective. We wish our Hungarian colleagues all the best for their newly founded Research Center and are looking forward to a fruitful cooperation!
IFBRF Vienna 2017
From 20th to 22nd September 2017, the FoFU hosted the 3rd International Family Business Research Forum at WU Vienna in cooperation with Prof. Andrea Calabrò from Witten/Herdecke University and Prof. Alessandro Minichilli from Bocconi University. 25 family business researchers from universities in eight countries participated in the workshop. Authors of seven out of the 14 presented articles were invited to submit their work to a special issue in the Journal of Family Business Strategy (JFBS).
We want to congratulate the winners of the Best Inspirational Paper/Proposal Award:
1st place: Ine Umans et al. for their paper “The influence of transgenerational succession intentions on the succession planning process: The moderating role of high-quality relationships”,
Mira Bloemen-Bekx et al. for their paper “Nurturing offspring’s affective commitment through informal (governance) mechanisms”
Fernando Reyes-Reina et al. for their paper “International mergers and acquisitions in family firms: Bridging the institutional perspective with the SEW perspective”
and thank all participants for their valuable contributions and the lively discussions! It was a lot of fun!
New Membership in JFBS Editorial Review Board
Julia Süss-Reyes joined in the invitation to become member of the Editorial Review Board of Journal of Family Business Strategy (JFBS). JFBS is among the leading scientific journals in the family business research field and has an impact factor of 2.375 (according to the 2016 Journal Citation Report published by Thomson Reuters).
For more information about the journal see: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-family-business-strategy
Badge of honor for Paul Senger-Weiss
On June 8, 2017 Paul Senger-Weiss was awarded the Golden Badge of Honor (“Goldene Ehrennadel”) of the WU Vienna University of Economics and Business for his long-term engagement in the advisory board of the Research Institute for Family Business. Senger-Weiss was chair of the advisory board since the foundation of the institute in 2009 and is now retiring from his position at his own request.
We want to congratulate him to this high decoration and thank him for the constructive collaboration over many years!
„Die Professionalisierung der Unternehmerfamilie. Eine Erfolgsformel für Familienunternehmen?”
01.01.2017. In the current issue of the journal „beziehungsweise“ (published by the Austrian Institute for Family Studies at the University of Vienna) Julia Süss-Reyes discusses how family governance measures can contribute to the success and continuity of family businesses. To read the article (available only in German), please follow this link.
“Wie Familienbetriebe überleben”
14.03.2017. In an article in today’s DIE PRESSE, Julia Süss-Reyes explains the value of family governance measures for family firms and talks about our book “Zukunftssicherung für Familienunternehmen. Good Practice Fallanalysen zur Family Governance“. To read the article (available only in German), please follow this link.
New Publication: “Research on innovation in family businesses: are we building an ivory tower?” Elena Fuetsch and Julia Süss-Reyes recently published their article “Research on innovation in family businesses: are we building an ivory tower?” in the Journal of Family Business Management, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, pp. 44-92.
Link to the article: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/JFBM-02-2016-0003
Workshop: “Business families and their identities”
On 25 January 2017, the Research Institute for Family Business and the Family Business Network Austria (FBN) held a workshop for members of the Family Business Network Austria on the subject of business family identities at “Lugeck” restaurant. Thomas Figlmüller, 4th generation member of the Figlmüller family, explained how he and his brother took over and expanded the family business that currently counts six branches situated all over Vienna.
Dr. Isabell Stamm, our invited speaker from the technical university in Berlin (Institute for Sociology), presented her insights on “The identity-generating power of entrepreneurial projects – how business families define who they are, were and want to be”. Her speech focused on the narrative culture of business families, the emergence and alteration of stories and how they help to reproduce entrepreneurship across generations. Subsequently, Dr. Julia Süss-Reyes provided an anniversary report and outlook on the activities of the Research Institute for Family Businesses. Dr. Alexander Keßler presented empirical-quantitative results on how family business characteristics (“familiness”), family climate and family governance can explain the business family’s identity.
We thank Mag. Claudia Illichmann (CEO of the Family Business Network Austria) for organizing the workshop, KR Spängler (president of Family Business Network Austria and chairman of the supervisory board at Bankhaus Carl Spängler & Co. Aktiengesellschaft) for moderating the workshop and all participants for the interesting and fruitful discussions which contributed to the exchange between research and practice!
KURIER reports on our agricultural family firms project
24.10.2016. We are proud to read another press article on our agricultural family firms project in today’s Kurier. Read article. (available only in german)
Zerreißprobe für Familienkonzerne
27.09.2016. In an article in today’s DerStandard, Julia Suess-Reyes portrays typical challenges that family firms face during succession. Read articel. (available only in german)
Competence-based Strategic Management Conference 2016
In cooperation with the Johannes Keppler University Linz, the Institute for Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship organized the Competence-based Strategic Management Conference (Konferenz Strategisches Kompetenz-Management) at the WU campus from September 21-23, 2016.
FoFU’s participation at IFERA conference crowned with success
International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA), Bogotá (June 28-29, 2016)
Julia Suess-Reyes and Elena Fuetsch attended the IFERA 2016 in Bogotá (Colombia) which is the leading conference in the family business research field. On top of a successful paper presentation (The future of family farming: A literature review on innovative, sustainable and succession-oriented strategies), both researchers were honored with an award:
Julia Suess-Reyes: Best Reviewer Award
Elena Fuetsch: Best Conference Paper Award for First-Time Presenter
Press review – TV coverage and newspaper articles on our agricultural family firms project
Recently, several regional and national media (ORF Niederösterreich: Niederösterreich Heute, Österreichische BauernZeitung, Blick ins Land, NÖN - Niederösterreichische Nachrichten, Wiener Zeitung, Wirtschaftsblatt, DerStandard, Salzburger Nachrichten, lebensmittelcluster.at, orf.at and Kurier) reported about our research project „Success factors of agricultural family firms in Lower Austria“ (authors: Julia Süss-Reyes, Elena Fuetsch, Alexander Keßler, Hermann Frank). With this research project, the Research Institute for Family Business gives insights into the innovativeness, succession-orientation and sustainability of agricultural family businesses in Lower Austria and provides recommendations for practitioner.
go to media reports (available only in german)
Press conference on our agricultural family firms project
Erste Campus, Vienna.
On June 8th, 2016 Hermann Frank presented the key findings of our research project on “Success factors of agricultural family firms in Lower Austria” during a press conference hosted by Erste Bank. His presentation was accompanied by statements from DI Maximilian Hardegg (farm manager), Dr. Stephan Pernkopf (Agrarlandesrat of Lower Austria) and Dr. Thomas Uher (CEO of Erste Bank Austria, member of the WU University Board). 16 newspapers (e.g Der Standard, Die Presse, Wirtschaftsblatt, NÖN, Blick ins Land, Wiener Zeitung) and television broadcasters (e.g. ORF Universum, Servus TV) attended the press conference. Newspaper articles and television coverage to follow soon!
Workshop: FoFU hosts meeting of the „Dialogforum Zeitgemäße Landwirtschaft“
WU Wien. On the 2nd June 2016, we hosted a meeting of the „Dialogforum Zeitgemäße Landwirtschaft“, initiated by DI Maximilian Hardegg. The dialogue forum is made up of leading experts from agriculture-related industries (i.e. businesses including Bayer, Spar, Syngenta and Böhringer-Ingelheim). Based on selected findings of our study “Success factors of agricultural family businesses in Lower Austria“, which were presented by Prof. Hermann Frank, an interesting discussion developed between the workshop participants, contributing towards a fruitful exchange between research and practice.
Erste Bank Forum Weinviertel, Agricultural Talks: „Family farms – a business model for the future?“
Hollabrunn. On March 30, 2016 Hermann Frank delivered a speech on the particularities of agricultural family businesses, their challenges and future perspectives. He also took part in the related panel discussion, together with Federal Minister Dr. Sophie Karmasin, Mag. Hanni Rützler (expert on future food), DI Maximilian Hardegg (farm manager) and Dr. Thomas Uher (CEO of Erste Bank Austria, member of the WU University Board). The “Erste Bank Forum Weinviertel, Agricultural Talks” is a regular event which is attended by several hundred farmers that work in the region.
Click here to see media reports on the event:
The Family Influence Familiness Scale [FIFS] – ET&P publication
Hermann Frank, Alexander Kessler, Thomas Rusch, Julia Süss-Reyes and Daniela Weismeier-Sammer recently published their article “Capturing the Familiness of Family Businesses: Development of the Family Influence Familiness Scale (FIFS)“ in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (ET&P) The article presents fundamental research on the measurement of “familiness” – the family’s influence on the business – via decision premises. In three studies, familiness is examined with qualitative and quantitative approaches, based on new systems theory. Narrative interviews are employed to generate items. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses led to a multidimensional scale (Family Influence Familiness Scale [FIFS]) comprising of six dimensions: (1) ownership, management, and control; (2) proficiency level of active family members; (3) sharing of information between active family members; (4) transgenerational orientation; (5) family–employee bond; and (6) family business identity. Results indicate high reliability and validity levels.
Newspaper article in "Kärntner Wirtschaft"
Hermann Frank about Family-Governance in the newspaper "Kärntner Wirtschaft". Go to articel. (in German language).
3rd Mission-Beitrag in der Broschüre „Vielfalt Familie“ der Landjugend Österreich
19. Februar 2016. In der Schwerpunktbroschüre zum Thema „Vielfalt Familie“ der Landjugend Österreich ist ein Beitrag von Elena Fuetsch mit dem Titel „Familienunternehmen – Attraktiver Arbeitgeber oder Karrierebremse?“ erschienen (PDF). Die Broschüre dient als Arbeits- und Informationsgrundlage für die Mitglieder der Landjugend, die sich in den nächsten Monaten intensiv mit dem Thema Familie auseinandersetzen werden. Zum Artikel.
Großartiger Umfragerücklauf bei Landwirtschaftsstudie!
Wir haben unsere Umfrage im Rahmen der Studie "Erfolgsfaktoren landwirtschaftlicher Familienbetriebe in Niederösterreich" abgeschlossen. Die Resonanz war unheimlich positiv und wir freuen uns über die 939 ausgefüllten Fragebögen. Herzlichen Dank an alle Landwirte und Landwirtinnen, die uns mit Ihrer Teilnahme unterstützt haben!
Workshop: “Safeguarding the Future of Family Businesses”
On 5 October 2015, the Research Institute for Family Business and the Family Business Network Austria (FBN) held a workshop for FBN-members on the subject of family governance. In the course of the workshop, Prof. Hermann Frank, Julia-Süss-Reyes, MA, Elena Fuetsch, BA (all Research Institute for Family Business) and Prof. Manfred Lueger (Institute for Sociology and Social Research) presented their newly published book “Safeguarding the Future of Family Businesses – Good Practice Case Analyses on Family Governance”. Furthermore, Mag. Walter Schnitzhofer and Mag. Rosemarie Macheiner (both Bankhaus Spängler) presented two family governance cases from a consultant’s perspective. Special guest was Alexis du Roy de Blicquy, CEO of The Family Business Network International, who gave an insight into current FBN activities. We thank all participants for the interesting and fruitful discussions which contributed to the exchange between research and practice!
Workshop: Success factors of agricultural family farms in Lower Austria
The Research Institute for Family Business is currently running the project on success factors of agricultural family farms in Lower Austria (sponsored by Land Niederösterreich, Gutsverwaltung Hardegg and Erste Bank Österreich). Agricultural family farms in Lower Austria strongly contribute to the success of the Austrian economy. At the same time, they are confronted with growing challenges: Continuous budget cutbacks, poor harvests caused by climate changes, unforeseeable price fluctuations and a tendentially low willingness of potential successors to take over the farm put the traditional Lower Austrian agriculture under increased pressure and have led to a continuous decline in the number of family farms over the last decades. To master the present challenges and to safeguard future sustainability it is ever more important for farmers to act in an innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable way. How Lower Austrian family farms approach these issues is analyzed in a current research project at the Research Institute for Family Business.
As part of this project we held a workshop on September 28, 2015 to establish an exchange with Lower Austrian farmers and to prepare for a quantitative study that aims at analyzing the innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable strategies of family farms. We want to thank all workshop participants for their constructive contributions!
New book publication: Safeguarding the future of family businesses
The family constitutes a valuable resource for family businesses but in cases of conflict it can turn into a burden. Complexity increases with family size, internal differences and engagement in the business. Furthermore, it can be difficult to maintain potential successors’ interest to safeguard a successful future. Family governance offers professional solutions to these challenges.
By presenting a number of good practice case studies, this book enhances the understanding of family governance practices and offers a range of well-proved approaches. Although there is no universal recipe that makes family management successful, every family business can learn from strategies of other family businesses and adapt their solutions to its own requirements.
Manfred Lueger & Hermann Frank (eds.): Zukunftssicherung für Familienunternehmen, Vienna: Facultas, 2015.
Congratulations to Dr. Lavinia Nosé
We are pleased that our former researcher Lavinia Nosé completed her dissertation "What makes a family business strong enough to manage conflicts? : conflict dynamics and family resources at the intersection of the family business system".
Congratulations from the Fofu-Team!
Elena Fuetsch and Hermann Frank recently published their article: “Opportunity Recognition in Family Firms in the Context of Relationship Conflicts between Managing Family Members” in The Management Magazine of International Management Institute, Kolkata (IMI Konnect), Issue 8: October-November 2014, pp. 4-5.
Top 25 hottest articles in the Journal of Family Business Strategy!
„Family governance – Literature review and the development of a conceptual model“ (Suess, J.) currently occupies the ninth place among the top 25 hottest articles in the Journal of Family Business Strategy.
For further information on the ranking please visit: http://top25.sciencedirect.com/subject/psychology/22/journal/journal-of-family-business-strategy/18778585/archive/53/
Best paper award!
Due to its innovativeness our paper “Capturing the familiness of family businesses: The development of a multidimensional scale” (Daniela-Weismeier-Sammer, Hermann Frank, Alexander Kessler, Thomas Rusch, Julia Suess-Reyes) has been selected as one of the three best papers at the IFERA Research Development Workshop (RDW) 2014 held from September 24-26 in Vienna. The paper presents the first scale that aims at measuring the actual family influence on the business – a core need of family business research. It will (together with the other two best papers) be featured in a special session at the next IFERA conference 2015 in Hamburg.
For more information about IFERA 2015 please visit:
Recent conference activities
The Research Institute for Family Business is among the leading and most active international research institutes for family business research covering a broad range of family business topics. This year we already count five presentations on international conferences and universities:
Frank, H. (2014). “Making family influence in family firms measurable - The development of a familiness scale”. Presentation at Group Sup de Co Montpellier Business School, France
Frank, H, Weismeier-Sammer, D., Keßler, A., Rusch, T., & Süss, J. (2014). „Making family influence in family firms measurable: Development of a familiness scale”. 59th ICSB (International Council for Small Business World Conference), Dublin, Ireland
Hatak, I., & Weismeier-Sammer, D. (2014). „Trust in Inter-Family Firm Cooperation: A Case Study”. Presentation at IFERA (International Family Enterprise Research Academy), Lappeenranta, Finland
Süss, J. (2014). “How to keep the family in business: Causes and effects of functional family governance“. Presentation at IFERA (International Family Enterprise Research Academy), Lappeenranta, Finland
Süss, J., Berent-Braun, M., Flören, R., & Uhlaner, L. (2014): “The economic and emotional value of governing the business-owning family”. Presentation at IFERA (International Family Enterprise Research Academy), Lappeenranta, Finland
4. Konferenz deutschsprachiger Zentren für Familienunternehmensforschung (4th conference of German-speaking centers for family business research)
On March 18, 2014 Julia Süss presented an enlightening research case study, taken from a current research project on family business governance in Austrian family businesses. In particular, she focused on factors that foster or impede the development of family governance measures, the development and implementation process of these measures and the value that an effective family governance system has for both the family and the business. Her presentation was attended by numerous experts in the field of family business research and was followed by a lively discussion of the results and the implications for practice and research.
2nd IFERA Research Development Workshop 2014 in Vienna!
We are happy to announce that the 2nd IFERA Research Development Workshop focusing on "Involvement, Essence and Identity: Developing Core Constructs in Family Business Research" is organized by the team of the Research Institute for Family Business.
The workshop takes place from 24.-26. September, 2014 at the new Campus WU in Vienna. Details on deadlines and the workshop program will be announced here soon.
Meanwhile go to http://ifera.org/index.php/rdw-2014 for details.
We hope to see you in Vienna in September 2014!
“The Measurement of Familiness: Capturing the development, manifestations and impacts of family influence” – Research project successfully completed!
The focus of the project “The Measurement of Familiness: Capturing the development, manifestations and impacts of family influence” was on reconstructing and developing a measure for the family’s influence on the family business (i.e. “familiness”). With this research project, the Research Institute for Family Business provides an all-encompassing examination of familiness through the application of various means. Firstly, we provided a thorough literature review to demonstrate how the topic of familiness has developed over time. Secondly, we conducted a set of case studies to gain in-depth insights into Austrian family businesses to reconstruct their specific familiness. Thirdly, we created a familiness scale and tested it on an Austrian sample of family businesses to provide a first quantitative measure for familiness.
More detailed information about the project can be found here (in German language).
A German executive summary of the study’s results can be found here.
Julia Süss and Daniela Weismeier-Sammer recently published their article: “Familiness: Der Einfluss der Familie auf das Unternehmen” in the Austrian Management Review (Vol. 3, pp. 60-66).
The Austrian Management Review is a transfer book series edited by the iHRCM Institute and published at the Hampp Verlag where recent research findings will be presented with and for practitioners. Complemental to the Austrian Management Forum the Austrian Management Review aims to serve as a platform to enable dialogue and discourse of management relevant issues. The Austrian Management Review will be published once a year, the first issue was released in September 2011.
New Journal Publication!
Daniela Weismeier-Sammer, Hermann Frank (both Research Institute for Family Business) and Arist von Schlippe (University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany) recently published their article: "Untangling 'familiness': A literature review and directions for future research" in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Vol. 14, Iss. 3, pp. 165-177).
Abstract: The influence of the family on business has been the subject of much debate, particularly with regard to the assumed familiness of family businesses. The term ‘familiness’ is at risk of becoming an umbrella concept and is often used haphazardly, lacking a solid theoretical background.
This review provides a structured overview of the literature addressing the idea of familiness. Over the last 13 years, research on this key concept has grown continually, resulting in a broadening rather than a deepening of the concept of familiness. The results of the analysis of 33 manuscripts are presented and consolidated into three main categories: (1) theoretical perspectives; (2) the development and impact of familiness; and (3) empirical approaches. The analysis shows that existing research on familiness lacks the application of a universal theoretical lens. The authors counteract this shortfall by introducing new systems theory and presenting promising directions for further research, especially with regard to the development of a familiness typology.
Visiting Professor at Witten / Herdecke
Hermann Frank was appointed as Visiting Professor by decision of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Economics, University of Witten / Herdecke for the period 04/2013-03/2016. Congratulations!
New Journal Publication!
Arist von Schlippe (University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany) and Hermann Frank (Research Institute for Family Business, WU Vienna) recently published their article "The theory of social systems as a framework for understanding family businesses" in Family Relations (Vol. 62, pp. 384-398).
Abstract: There is a long tradition of systemic approaches in family business research, but recent developments have been widely ignored. This article gives a brief overview of these approaches and models and then introduces the modern theory of social systems. This theory no longer considers individuals as parts of the system but assumes that the basic elements of a social system are acts of communication. In each system (family, business, ownership), a specific communication pattern evolves and each system operates within a specific functional logic. Families process relationship communication, businesses process decision communication, and ownership operates on the basis of legally secured communication. Each of these three structurally coupled systems provides a specific context. The functional logics are context markers and assign meaning to the communicative acts. To understand how a family business functions, it is important to understand the concrete functional logics and the structural coupling of the three systems.
Workshop: Familiness – The influence of the family in the business
On April 17, 2013 the team of the Research Institute for Family Business held a workshop for FBN-members focusing on familiness in family businesses in Salzburg. Hermann Frank, Daniela Weismeier-Sammer and Julia Süss presented research case studies and discussed preliminary findings from the current familiness project. We want to thank all participating family members for their feedback and insights in their family businesses! Our special thanks go to KR Heinrich Spängler for the workshop organization and moderation.
Second place at the Austrian Tourissimus 2013!
Julia Süss came in second at the Austrian tourism research award “Tourissimus” 2013 for her master thesis
about “Vienna’s culinary side: Expectancies, image and awareness from the perspective of German, Italian and US-American tourists” (http://www.oegaf.org/?q=node/93)
Furthermore she won a special award in the category “urban tourism”. Congratulations!
New book publication: Legal aspects of family businesses by Susanne Kalss and Stephan Probst
This handbook, which was financially supported by the Research Institute for Family Business, provides solutions for several legal questions in family businesses, e.g. management and control, family foundations, financing, divorce, conflict, succession etc.
Kalss, Susanne, Probst, Stephan (2013): Familienunternehmen – Gesellschafts- und zivilrechtliche Fragen, Wien: Manz. (http://www.manz.at/home.html?switch=books)
Workshop: “Familiness: The influence of the family in the business – a competitive advantage?”
On December 12, 2012 the team of the Research Institute for Family Business in cooperation with the Family Business Network Austria (FBN) held a workshop for FBN-members focusing on the important topic of familiness. After a presentation of the theoretical foundations of familiness, Hermann Frank and Daniela Weismeier-Sammer presented preliminary findings from the familiness-project. Four case studies of Austrian family business laid the foundation for a lively discussion of the family’s influence on the business. We would like to thank all participating FBN-members for providing us highly appreciated insights in their family businesses! Our special thanks go to KR Heinrich Spängler and DI Paul Senger-Weiss for the workshop organization and moderation.
On November 9, 2012 the Research Institute for Family Business organized a one-day workshop focusing on the influence of the family on the business. To gain different perspectives on the key topic of familiness we invited scholars and practitioners to discuss preliminary results of the qualitative part of our familiness research project (in alphabetical order): Axel Exner (Neuwaldegger Consulting Group), Inga Krauss (University Witten/Herdecke, Germany), Manfred Lueger (Institute for Sociology, WU), Gerald Mitterer (Neuwaldegger Consulting Group), Arist von Schlippe (University Witten Herdecke, WIFU) + Hermann Frank, Daniela Weismeier-Sammer and Julia Süss (Research Institute for Family Business, WU).
Lecture about "family-ties"
At the annual event of the economic consulting firm "Pöschl and Partner" was spoken about the topic of family ties. The Key note speaker of this event was Hermann Frank.
Succession as a challenge for 2100 Carinthian family businesses
"Kleine Zeitung Kärnten" reports about an event organized by Pöschl & Partner focusing on the challenges family businesses face regarding succession with Hermann Frank as key note speaker (Link to Kleine Zeitung, October 24, 2012).
Ifu-Dialog, October 2012
On October 18, 2012 Hermann Frank presented selected results from our current research project "Familiness in Family Business" at the Ifu-Dialog at WU. Specifically, he focused in his presentation on different dimensions of familiness theoretically and based on two case studies of Austrian family businesses.
The Ifu-Dialog is a regularly series of lectures by experts of different fields and is organized by the Institute for Strategic Management and Management Control (WU).
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business recently published an article written by Hermann Frank, Alexander Kessler and Christian Korunka titled “The impact of market orientation on family firm performance” (Vol. 16, No. 4).
Homepage of IJESB – click here
New book publication: Conflict resolution in Family Businesses
The interaction between family and enterprise in family businesses can open up new opportunities, but also holds specific risks. Different forms of conflicts such as task- , process- or relationship conflicts can arise; the constructive handling of these conflicts is the main subject of the study.
In the course of qualitative case studies, some family businesses were analyzed regarding their conflict management strategies. An additional quantitative study of more than 400 Austrian businesses showed that conflicts have a negative impact on certain success indicators: especially negating conflicts was found as inappropriate.
Hermann Frank, Christian Korunka & Manfred Lueger (eds.): Konfliktbewältigung in Familienunternehmen, Vienna: Facultas, 2012.
New book publication: How Successful Family Businesses Act- Good Practice Case Studies
Family businesses are crucial for Austria’s economic performance. A main challenge they have to face is the overlap of family and business matters, which can occur in many, different constellations. These peculiarities, as well as different demands from markets or sectors they have to respond to, are challenges family businesses need to address. In the study some good-practice cases were chosen and presented that managed to develop action strategies for specific topics in their particular environment.
Manfred Lueger & Hermann Frank (eds.): Wie erfolgreiche Familienunternehmen handeln – Good Practice Fallanalysen, Vienna: Facultas, 2012.
We are family! Family businesses as career amplifier!
In the most recent edition of the “WU Karrieremagazin” of the ZbP, Hermann Frank comments on particular career opportunities in family businesses due to their economic stability and long-term focus.
The full article can be downloaded here. (in German).
WU-award for our research project
Hermann Frank and Daniela Weismeier-Sammer were honored on 19th April 2012 in the course of the “WU Prämienabend” for the acquisition of third-party funds (anniversary fund of the OeNB) for the project “The measurement of familiness”.
Emerald Literati Network: 2012 Award for Excellence
We are pleased that a team of researchers related to the Research Institute for Family Business (Hermann Frank, Alexander Keßler, Lavinia Nosé and Daniela Suchy) received the “Highly Commended Award” of the “Emerald Literati Network” for the paper titled “Conflicts in Family Firms: State of the Art and Perspectives for Future Research” (2011, Journal of Family Business Management).
Soon you will find more detailed information and be able to download the full article here.
Family Business Workshop: Columbia University, Family Business Network Austria & Research Institute for Family Business
As a cooperation of the Family Business Network Austria (DI Paul Senger-Weiss), the Research Institute for Family Business (Professor Hermann Frank) and the Columbia University, NY (Professor Michael Preston), we held a workshop on 12th March 2012 focusing on family businesses.
Students of WU Vienna and Columbia University, NY discussed case studies in mixed groups and had the possibility to exchange experiences, following lectures by DI Senger-Weiss, Professor Preston and Professor Frank.
“Success Indicators of Austrian Family Businesses” - Findings of the study available online!
Results of the study “Success Indicators of Austrian Family Businesses – The Interplay of Family and Business in Decision Processes” can be downloaded from the website of the “Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth” (in German).
Workshop Family Business Network Austria
On the occasion of three years of collaboration between the FBN and the Research Institute for Family Business, a workshop took place at the “Federation of Austrian Industries in Vienna on 22nd November 2011, where two case studies from the current good-practice project were presented.
Workshop “Systems Theory and Family Businesses”
On 1st October 2011 the Research Institute for Family Business invited family-business researchers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria to a workshop on systems theory and family business. Subject of the discussions was the suitability of systems theory as reference theory for the specific characteristics of family businesses.
Participants in alphabetical order:
Hermann Frank, WU Vienna Ulrike Froschauer, University of Vienna Frank Halter, University of St. Gallen/Switzerland Manfred Lueger, WU Vienna Arist von Schlippe, University Witten-Herdecke/Germany Daniela Weismeier-Sammer, WU Vienna Rudolf Wimmer, osb consulting, University Witten-Herdecke/Germany Thomas Zellweger, University of St. Gallen/Switzerland
“Success Indicators of Austrian Family Businesses” - Research project successfully completed!
The focus of the interdisciplinary study “Success Indicators of Austrian Family Businesses – The Interplay between Family and Business in Decision Processes” was on decision processes and the handling of conflicts and consensus in family businesses. We used qualitative as well as quantitative research methods and were supported by two additional dissertation projects. Conflict and decision aspects were particularly analyzed, as well as the handling of challenging situations.
More detailed information about the project can be found here. (in German).
A German executive summary of the study’s results can be found here.