Family Business

The ripple effect of trust and the family firm

When searching for a new supplier, investor or manager, what’s your number one criterion? Industry reputation? A core metric? Economic cost or benefit? While all relevant criteria, there is another that trumps them all: trust. Defined in academic literature as the willingness of one party to be vulnerable to the actions of another, trust has…

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…

5 essential rules for overcoming challenges in family firms

As I explored in a recent article published in the Harvard Deusto Business Review, prosperous family businesses owe their success to adhering to the following five essential rules: 1 - Treat the business as a business and the family as a family 2 - Foresee changes to avoid surprises 3 - Implement structures for nearly…
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¡HOLA! A window on the world since 1944

Eduardo Sánchez Pérez (PADE’20) is the editor-in-chief of ¡HOLA!, Spain’s first society magazine and a pioneer in premier photojournalism. In this article, he shares the history of this pathbreaking publication, founded by his grandparents in 1944. The origins of ¡HOLA! can be traced back to the love story between my grandparents, Antonio Sánchez Gómez and…

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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Annual Report 2021-22

As Aristotle said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and this is certainly true of IESE’s Chair of Family-Owned Business. Looking back on the academic year, I could not be more pleased with the team's accomplishments and contributions toward advancing the practice and knowledge of family business. We hope you enjoy…

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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The family in business

Family businesses always have an owner family as the shareholder of reference. This is the family that defines the company’s purpose and transforms family values into corporate values. This is the family that serves as a beacon of unity and commitment, transmitting a sense of corporate stability and long-term continuity. Hence, the importance of developing,…
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The family council, a means and not an end

Guest contributor: María Rodríguez García Predoctoral Researcher and Lecturer · Universitat de València Visiting Researcher · IESE Chair of Family-Owned Business The family council as a concept began gaining traction in the 1990s, when consultants and academics highlighted its relevance in terms of protecting the business family’s long-term interests and navigating potential family complexity. Under…
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Pedro Durán, the royal silversmith

Juan Miguel Albarracín Durán is the president and CEO of Grupo Durán, a jewelry company founded by his great-grandfather over 135 years ago. Our company was founded in 1886 by my great-grandfather Pedro Durán Morales, a silversmith by profession. In 1899, he was named an official supplier to Spain’s royal family, a significant milestone at…
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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…

Succession, the monumental question

The topic of succession has a long history and has never been limited to the exclusive domain of family business. Putting it into perspective can give us a deeper understanding of its importance in all organizations, both family- and non-family-owned. After writing this post, I thought it was perhaps more suited to an academic readership,…
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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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What’s the link between purpose and the bottom line?

A clear purpose drives results. These are the words of Claudine Gartenberg, a Wharton School professor and co-author of one of the largest studies ever conducted on corporate purpose. According to Prof. Gartenberg, purpose is “a set of beliefs about the meaning of a company's work beyond quantitative measures of financial performance.” In a recent…
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