Investigaciones en curso

  • The role of personality in the succession process of family-owned businesses: A systemic approach

The principal aim of this research project is to explore basic concepts from neuroscience and psychology for understanding the issue that most shapes the leadership style of any executive: his or her own personality. What personality is and how does it influence the management style of family business leaders during the succession process? Can it be modified? How does the personality of family business leaders affect family dynamics during succession? Can empathy or social skills be improved? What inner resources can family business leaders can draw on to help cope in times of substantial change such as the succession process in a family-owned business?

Overall, the main objective of this research project is to help family-owned businesses leaders improve self-knowledge and acquire tools for character development. Likewise, the present research project aims to help family-owned businesses leaders achieve some learning points for overcoming negative behaviour and enhancing positive traits, which can facilitate the succession of leadership roles in the family business.

  • Key Issues in Family Councils: Insights from the Spanish Experience

As successful families in business grow in family size and number of shareholders they commonly develop a particular kind of family organization – it is often referred to as the Family Council – this family organization usually becomes the family’s central governing body. Although family councils are very common among highly complex multigenerational family-owned businesses, implementing them appears to be a challenging task as each family has its own idea and this idea is likely to evolve across time. With the aim of helping families in business reflect upon or review their family governance system, the present research project aims at learning from the experience of Spanish family-owned businesses by analysing different areas of interest such as the different types of family councils, their key features, the reasons for starting a family council, the objectives of creating a family council, the stages of a family council and the characteristics of other governance structures connected to the family council. Investigating these issues can help multigenerational family-owned businesses to succeed as well structured organizations that keep the family connected and committed towards a common mission, vision and values.

  • Still a stereotype? The image of family-owned firms among MBA students

If family-owned businesses account for more than half of the world’s business corporations, it is very likely that a vast majority of future management graduates will end up working in these firms, not mentioning the number of students that will inherit a family–owned company. Hence, management graduates represent a pool of talent that can help family firms to thrive. The aim of this research project is to shed light on the perceptions that MBA students hold of family-owned businesses, compared to non-family-owned businesses, and to determine whether the advances in family-business research have affected the image of family-owned businesses or not. In order to do so, three research questions are formulated:

1. What is the specific image, if one exists, of family-owned businesses among MBA students?

2. How do MBA students perceive family-owned firms compared to non-family-owned firms?

3. Does this image reflect the established academic theories about family-owned businesses?

  • Rentabilidad comparada empresas familiares y empresas no familiares

Este proyecto de investigación pretende contestar a preguntas como: ¿Son más rentables las empresas familiares o las no familiares en el caso español? ¿Condiciona la estructura de propiedad de una empresa su nivel de rentabilidad? El estudio no pretende proponer un modelo teórico abstracto, sino obtener una evidencia empírica que permita determinar si la condición familiar (propiedad y gestión) afecta a los ratios económicos y financieros de las compañías que encabezan el ranking del tejido empresarial español. La muestra elegida en la etapa inicial es de 200 empresas, las 100 empresas familiares mayores de España y las 100 empresas no familiares mayores de España. En posteriores fases del proyecto y en función de los resultados obtenidos se tratará de ampliar la muestra.

  • Longevidad en la familia empresaria

Este proyecto de investigación tiene como objetivo ofrecer una mirada diferente a la industrialización europea desde la perspectiva de la empresa familiar. ¿Qué aportó la empresa familiar en aquellos tiempos de aceleración del crecimiento? ¿Cuáles fueron las estrategias que les permitieron adaptarse con éxito al cambio? Se trata de preguntas ciertamente ambiciosas y a las que resultaría imposible responder del todo en este proyecto de investigación. Sin embargo, la lectura detenida de las aventuras empresariales que hemos recogido permite ofrecer una primera reflexión sobre unas cuestiones tan complejas como apasionantes.

  • Origen, evolución y rasgos distintivos de las family offices

El estudio de las empresas familiares como forma específica de propiedad ha crecido de forma notable en las últimas décadas. Sin embargo, la mayoría de esos estudios han obviado el análisis de una de las piezas centrales para todas las familias empresarias: las familyoffices.  Definidas como una empresa privada dedicada a gestionar y preservar la riqueza de la familia propietaria,  las familyoffices han sido un instrumento utilizado tradicionalmente por las familias para mantener no sólo su patrimonio, sino también su legado.

Pero, ¿cuál es el origen de esas familyoffices? En la Cátedra de Empresa Familiar de IESE partimos de esa pregunta de investigación para plantear un estudio que trata de arrojar luz sobre los rasgos distintivos  y las peculiaridades de gestión de este tipo de compañías. La investigación permitirá aclarar en qué contexto y para qué fines nacieron la familyoffices  y cómo ha evolucionado esta figura a lo largo de los siglos, en distintos contextos culturales y geográficos. El estudio también abordará las diferencias de gestión entre una empresa familiar “tradicional” -entendida como una empresa con actividad industrial o de servicios- y una family office,  en materia de proyección de imagen de la familia en la sociedad, propiedad emocional o recursos humanos.

  • Assessing Family Dynamics in Family-Owned Firms: Spanish Validation of a Reduced Version of the Family Climate Scales (FCS) 

The aim of the present research project is to validate a reduced Spanish version of the Family Climate Scales Questionnaire (FCS; Björnberg & Nicholson, 2007). This instrument was developed as a self-report, whole family index of aspects of family culture and processes; particularly applicable in the context of family-owned businesses. So far, a sample of 554 members of Spanish speaking family-owned firms has participated in the research project. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the six factors model provided an adequate fit to the data. Reliability analysis demonstrated that this 24-item Spanish version of the FCS has high internal consistency. Taken conjointly, the results of this research project support the use of the Spanish version of the reduced FCS in future research and practice. Overall, this new tool can facilitate comparative and cross-cultural research studies that consider the Spanish speaking population of family-owned firms. Likewise, from a practical perspective, it can be used as a tool for advisors/consultants of Spanish speaking family-owned firms, facilitating the benchmarking of family climate and providing fresh insights into the functional dimensions of the family system and the potential benefits and challenges of the family for the business.

  • The Next generation in family-owned firms

The present research project aims to provide some insights into the perceptions, challenges and opportunities faced by the next generation members in relation to their family firms, such that the older generations, owners, leaders and the next generation members are all better informed about how to guide the family and the business in such a way that the family legacy is transmitted across generations, that shared values and principles inform the leadership and the family, and that the ones leading the family project are conscious and responsible of the happiness and well-being of each member of the family business.