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Family Business Management (19CBA80285)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Maria Jose Parada Balderrama Dirección General y Estrategia ENG
Alberto Gimeno Sandig Dirección General y Estrategia ENG

Course Learning Objectives

Family businesses are, by far, the most extended form of organization around the world. Their range goes from SME's to large multinational groups.
Family businesses have specificities and competitive advantages that have to me managed and leverage on them. A family is a superior owner than ¿the market¿.
Obviously ESADE MBA students have to know how to manage their family business, but also those who are not, because it is highly likely that they have to deal with this reality as CEO's or members of a top management team.
The course will give the students the mindsets, frameworks to understand family businesses and tools to manage them.
In concrete the students will be able to:
- Understand the family-business dynamics
- To be able to do an appropriate diagnostic
- To use the tools of family- business management
- To be able to define appropriate processes of change


1. The internal dynamic of the Family Business: Murillo Case Study; The Structural Management Model

2. Conceptual framework. Definitions, the family-business dynamics. Family and business as social systems..Management paradigms.

. 4.- Institutionalization and Role Differentiation: The Institutional dynamic. Organs and relations between them.

. Family Business Diagnosis. Metalmex Case Study

. 5.- Communication. Relational patterns. Dyad and Triad. Information family and accountability.

. 6.- Professionalization: levels and requirements

. 7.- Succession: planning and CEO dependency. Power transmission. The succession process.

. 8.- Family business models. It's influence on decisions. Mental problems vs. Structural problems.

. 9.- Model change: Narratives as a strategic tool

. 10.- Process: the Uriach Case

. 11.- Student's case discussions

. The structure of the sessions will vary according to the content. The methodology includes theoretical presentations, group discussions, role plays, films, written cases and personal cases. The course is based on the book ¿Family Business Models¿ (see selected literature). The different sessions will require the previous reading of different chapters of the book. The sessions will be prepared in groups. At the end of the course the students will do a field work. The first day groups of four to five people will be created. These groups will be the same for all assignments throughout the course, except for the final assignment. Groups are expected to attend to class with the assignments previously prepared and ready to work and discuss them during the lecture. The groups are the operational work units which allow a fluid and agile participation and discussion. The assessment of the activity of the group, prior to and during the class will provide the remaining 25% of the final mark. Students are required to pass both components of the final mark separately to be able to pass the course.


A great variety of methodologies are used during the course. There will be a combination of conceptual presentations, cases, role plays, groupwork, etc. During the course and in the final case an expert system specially developed for this purpose will be used. At the end of the course the student will do a practical case in which each student will analyze a real case and make suggestions for the specific situation they encounter. This assignment is the final examination



Description %
Participation in class, Groupwork and Final case-assignment 100


Gimeno, A; Baulenas, G. & Comacros, J: (2010) ¿Family business Models: practical solution for the business family, Palmgrave MacMillan, London.

Other required material:
Gersick K. E.; Davis J. A.; Hampton, M. M.; Lansberg, I. 1997. Generation to generation : life cycles of the family business: Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business School Press
Lansberg, I. 1999. Succeeding generations : realizing the dream of families in business. Harvard Business School Press
Miller, D. y Le Breton-Miller, I (2005) Managing For The Long Run: Lessons In Competitive Advantage From Great Family Businesses. Boston Harvard Business School Press
Minuchin, S.; Wai-young, L; Simon, G. 1996. Mastering Family Therapy: Journeys of Growth and Transformation. New York. John Willey & Sons.
Neubaurer, Fred, Lank Alber (1998). The Family Business: Its Governance and Sustainability. New York. Routledge
Ortega y Gasset, J: (1997) Ideas y Creencias. Madrid, Alianza Editorial
Watzlawick, Pl, Weakland, J H., Fisch, R (1985), Change; Principles of Problem Formation and Problem

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Maria Jose Parada Balderrama Dirección General y Estrategia
Alberto Gimeno Sandig Dirección General y Estrategia