Global Center for Family Enterprise


The Family as an
Entrepreneurial Team

Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE)

The Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE) is uniquely positioned to conduct research on a broad range of topics such as succession, strategy, innovation and governance in family firms. In particular, we are interested in understanding better the interplay between the “family” and the “enterprise”. It is of utmost importance for the Center to take an interdisciplinary approach taking into account various perspectives (e.g., psychological, sociological) to examine family enterprise behaviour. The Center’s research is mostly evidence-based and its goal is to achieve academic excellence while also researching highly relevant topics. Finally, the Center has a strong desire to create and disseminate knowledge. In the following, we outline some of the Center’s current research areas.

Transgenerational Entrepreneurship in Family Enterprises

To explore the mechanisms at the family level that lead to longevity of business activity and ultimately to value creation across generations, the concept of transgenerational entrepreneurship has been introduced. Prior research has identified succession (i.e., the transfer of ownership and management) and firms’ innovative of crucial importance in ensuring family firms’ long-term survival and value creation. With regard to entrepreneurial behaviour in family firms, previous research has argued that family firms often struggle in retaining their entrepreneurial orientation across generations and that family members’ attachment to the business declines over time. In this vein, it is our aim within this research area to investigate the antecedents influencing entrepreneurial behaviour of family firms across generatio

Succession in Family Enterprises

Succession has been termed to be a critical event in a firm’s life cycle as many family firms fail to successfully hand over their business to the next generation. In fact, less than 10 % of all family firms manage to survive beyond the third generation. However, if planned carefully, succession can also serve as an opportunity for firm renewal as it determines the future organizational path for the coming years or even decades. Within research stream, we are interested in understanding better what factors at the encourage successful family-internal succession and how do elements of distribute justice play in.

The Family as an Entrepreneurial Team

Entrepreneurship research has increasingly shifted from an individualistic view of the entrepreneur to a focus on entrepreneurial teams, thereby emphasizing that the pursuance of entrepreneurial activities involves collective action. Entrepreneurial team members are often connected by strong social ties such as family ties resulting in the fact that the majority of firms around the globe are family enterprises. Research on new venture teams is still fragmented and has largely adopted a static perspective on team composition. In this research project, we investigate how power is allocated among team members, how employees can complement the entrepreneurial team and entrepreneurial team dynamics.


Prof. Dr. Miriam Bird
Director Global Center for Family Enterprise (GCFE)

Prof. Dr. Miriam Bird

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Jung
Corporate Law