The objective of the Family Business Management program is to train students who plan to succeed their family businesses. Through lectures and interactive case discussions, students learn how they should address typical challenges associated with management of family businesses for continuous growth and prosperity. The program is designed to provide interdisciplinary learning opportunities across management, marketing, as well as finance.
One may be surprised to learn that many leading firms in our global economy are managed as family businesses. Scholars have also uncovered that family businesses are more likely to be characterized with favorable performance than non-family businesses. We may conjecture that effective managerial approaches employed by family business managers unleash the full potential of their organizations. Accordingly, succeeding a family business poses unique challenges for managers. The challenges include managing unique value and culture for growth and prosperity, procuring external resources while maintaining control by the family, and professionalizing organizational system without disrupting family bonds, just to name a few. The aim of this program is to familiarize those who plan to succeed their family businesses with some of the typical issues and challenges they are likely to face, and to prepare them for effective management of their family heritage.
Some of the major issues to be discussed in this program include introduction to the complex topics of managing brands for family led businesses. Through a mixture of lectures (including guest lectures) and class discussions, students learn the strategic importance of brand creation and its translation into enduring organizations for family led businesses. Because of the limited talents within an organization, a leader plays an important role for making financial decisions as well, another major topic covered in this program. We also discuss issues of corporate sustainability, a growing theme of discussion for family businesses and SMEs (small and medium enterprises), including key elements of sustainable marketing strategies and sustainability accounting. Finally, students are also guided towards developing a practical mentoring perspective on leadership development, specifically for purposes of preparing for leadership succession in SMEs and especially in family owned businesses.