lmost two thirds of all companies worldwide are partially or fully family-owned (Family Firm Institute, 2018). The majority of Swiss SMEs are also family-owned, often successfully so over multiple generations. The family enterprises and entrepreneurial families behind these success stories therefore play a significant role in Switzerland’s economic and social welfare. Despite these figures, traditional business management research and consultancy services mostly focus on public corporations, largely ignoring the characteristics and needs of family enterprises. Swiss family enterprises employ more than sixty per cent of Switzerland’s workforce and generate some two thirds of the country’s gross domestic product (Frey, Halter & Zellweger, 2004). In the coming five years, the owners of a fifth of Swiss family enterprises will pass on the firm to the next generation, affecting over half a million jobs. Today, only just over forty per cent of family-run enterprises remain in the family after a generational change (Credit Suisse, 2013).
We have been organising the annual forum for family enterprises enterprises since 2010. In the framework of this interesting event, which is exclusive to owners of family-run businesses, members of entrepreneurial families discuss issues that concern organisational development and their families alike.
Interdisciplinary module «Family enterprises between family and enterprise»
For just over ten years, we have been supervising student projects that investigate topics relating to the specific challenges of family enterprises. To date, we have supervised forty student projects. If you are interested in commissioning a student project, do not hesitate to get in touch.