Leading and Owning a Family Enterprise, 7.5 credits
Leading and Owning a Family Enterprise, 7,5 högskolepoäng
Course Syllabus for students Spring 2021
Course Code: JLFN10
Confirmed by: Council for Undergraduate and Masters Education Apr 4, 2019
Revised by: Council for Undergraduate and Masters Education Sep 21, 2020
Valid From: Jan 18, 2021
Version: 2
Education Cycle: First-cycle level
Disciplinary domain: Social sciences
Subject group: FE1
Specialised in: G2F
Main field of study: Business Administration

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

On completion of the course the students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

1. Describe common characteristics and challenges of leading and owning family enterprises.
2. Explain the main theories and concepts in family enterprise research and practice.

Skills and abilities

3. Analyze problems in leading and owning family enterprises by applying appropriate knowledge resources.
4. Design sustainable solutions for critical situations in leading and owning family enterprises.

Judgement and approach

5. Evaluate concepts and models used to understand family enterprises.
6. Reflect upon common challenges faced by family enterprises in practice.


Family enterprises is the most common type of private companies in most countries in the world. A clear majority of small and medium-sized businesses are family enterprises as well as important large listed companies. Leading and Owning a Family Enterprise is an introduction to family businesses. The course is structured in 5 modules. Each module is case based and offers a balanced combination of academic knowledge and a strong connection to practice.

The topic covered in the modules are:
1. Introduction to family enterprises. This module introduces the main characteristics of family enterprises and depict how and why they are different to other type of enterprises.
2. Succession. This module presents succession issues and describe the most common choices and decisions that family business owners and managers face?
3. Leadership. This module discusses the importance of leadership for how to deal with both the family ownership group and the enterprise development.
4. Emotions, relationships and conflicts. This module focuses on the importance of dealing with the emotional side of family business, how to deal with possible conflicts between key actors and how to face multi-generational issues.
5. Sustainability. This module reflects on the relationship between ethics and behaviors of family enterprises, and a diverse set of business outcomes, such as growth orientation, economic and non-economic goal structure, CSR and philanthropy

Connection to Research and Practice
This is a theoretically as well as practically oriented course in Family business and ownership context. The course provides students with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and abilities in working strategically in a specified contextual setting. This course opens students to the multiplicity of views on leading and owning family enterprises and its application in actual scenarios. It is based on real case studies and interaction with the industry (family owned businesses) is a vital part of the course.

Type of instruction

The course combines lectures, seminars and case discussions led by professors and researches with guest lectures by managers and/or consultants with long experience. Lectures and seminars require students' active participation. The course is on-campus.

The teaching is conducted in English.


General entry requirements and 60 credits in Business Administration and/or Economics or the equivalent.

Examination and grades

The course is graded A, B, C, D, E, FX or F.

Group case study work and presentation (ILOs: 2, 3, 5, 6) representing 3 credits.
Individual Assignments (ILOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) representing 2.5 credits.
Individual examination (ILOs: 1, 3, 4, 5) representing 2 credits.

Registration of examination:
Name of the TestValueGrading
Group case study work and presentation13 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
Individual assignments12.5 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
Individual examination12 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
1 The grade is reported when all compulsory elements have been successfully accomplished. The final grade of the course is determined by the sum total of points for all parts of examination in the course (0-100 points). Grade is set in accordance to JIBS grading policy - A/B/C/D/E/FX/F.

Course evaluation

It is the responsibility of the examiner to ensure that each course is evaluated. There must be course evaluators identified among the students. The evaluation is carried out continuously as well as at the end of the course, through a survey. After the course the course Examiner meets with student evaluators to discuss the survey results and possible improvements. A summary report is also created. The report is followed up by program directors and discussed with faculty and relevant others (e.g. Associate Dean of Education, Associate Dean of faculty, Director of PhD Candidates, Dean, or Director of Studies). The next time the course runs, students should be informed of any measures taken to improve the course based on the previous course evaluation.

Other information

Academic integrity
JIBS students are expected to maintain a strong academic integrity. This implies to behave within the boundaries of academic rules and expectations relating to all types of teaching and examination. Copying someone else’s work is a particularly serious offence and can lead to disciplinary action. When you copy someone else’s work, you are plagiarizing. You must not copy sections of work (such as paragraphs, diagrams, tables and words) from any other person, including another student or any other author. Cutting and pasting is a clear example of plagiarism. There is a workshop and online resources to assist you in not plagiarizing called the Interactive Anti-Plagiarism Guide. Other forms of breaking academic integrity include (but are not limited to) adding your name to a project you did not work on (or allowing someone to add their name), cheating on an examination, helping other students to cheat and submitting other students work as your own, and using non-allowed electronic equipment during an examination. All of these make you liable to disciplinary action.

Course literature

Zellweger, T. (2017). “Managing the Family Business: Theory and Practice”. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
A list articles will be supplied at the course introduction.