The link between family firms and their stakeholders

Global organizations are increasingly integrating stakeholder opinions and ESG objectives in their corporate purpose, an approach that family businesses have been applying for decades. In this recently published Harvard Deusto article, I explore the essential role of purpose and why it should be viewed through a strategic lens: Profundizando en la relación entre empresas familiares […]

Opening the door to new possibilities

The start of the new academic year invites us to open our minds in the broadest sense – to new ideas, people, projects and ways of working that inspire us personally and motivate our teams and organizations. In the realm of family business, several dualities reflect this sense of expansiveness: legacy and future, tradition and […]

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External stakeholders: 3 ways to boost engagement

Guest contributor: Sumeet Malik Assistant Professor · University of Amsterdam / Entrepreneurship & Innovation Section 2021-2022 Post-Doctoral Fellow · IESE Chair of Family-Owned Business From investors and regulators to customers, external stakeholders are critical to the long-term success of family firms. They buy their products, regulate their operations, and provide their means of operation by […]

Family business is P2P

We often hear about B2C and B2B business models, but let’s not forget P2P, or the “person to person” model. Year after year, my interactions with family firms confirm the importance of placing people at the heart of decision making. People should always be the top priority, which applies not only to family business, but […]

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Trust and family firms: what do we know?

Recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, castells are human towers whose origins date back to the early 18th century in Catalunya. At a recent teambuilding event with other IESE faculty, I had the chance to discover their history – and experience first hand! – what it takes to build a castell. They […]

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Family CEOs: aging and conservatism

According to popular wisdom, people tend to get more conservative as they age. But is this actually true? And if so, how does it impact CEOs and the organizations they lead? If we look to previous research, business leaders indeed show a tendency toward risk aversion as their corporate careers wind down, favoring quick wins […]

Purpose is strategy

According to Grant F. Reid, CEO and president of Mars, “Performance without purpose is meaningless, and purpose without performance is not possible. It’s the magic combination.” For Mars CFO Claus Aagaard, “Private ownership provides a great platform to live our purpose as we can do the right things and faster without the worry of the […]

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Family business and globalization

My colleague Prof. Marta Elvira asked me if I could write about family business and globalization. I do so with pleasure but with the fear that some readers might find my conclusions disappointing. In this post, I won’t refer to large corporations but to medium-sized companies, defined by the European Union as firms with revenues […]

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