Family Entrepreneurship, 7.5 credits
Family Entrepreneurship, 7,5 högskolepoäng
Course Syllabus for students Spring 2021
Course Code: JFER21
Confirmed by: Council for Undergraduate and Masters Education Apr 4, 2019
Revised by: Council for Undergraduate and Masters Education Oct 19, 2020
Valid From: Mar 29, 2021
Version: 2
Education Cycle: Second-cycle level
Disciplinary domain: Social sciences
Subject group: FE1
Specialised in: A1N
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. Explain the characteristics and challenges of family entrepreneurship.

2. Describe the main theories and concepts within the field of family entrepreneurship research and practice.

Skills and abilities

3. Analyse practical problems in family entrepreneurship contexts by applying appropriate knowledge resources.

4. Analyse and apply family entrepreneurship theories and concepts to different critical situations in entrepreneurial families.

Judgement and approach

5. Critically evaluate the use of concepts and models used to understand family entrepreneurship.

6. Reflect upon common challenges facing entrepreneurial families in practice, and develop a way to address these challenges.


This course deals with family entrepreneurship. The course focuses on the role of family owners in developing and renewing family businesses. We explore key issues related to the entrepreneurial process of family owners and choices of entrepreneurial families. By discussing entrepreneurial entry and exit decisions we will explore the factors influencing the decision of initiating a family business, succession issues and portfolio decisions of entrepreneurial families. The course takes an international perspective on these issues.

The course is specially designed for those who are interested in starting a family business, entering, acquiring or succeeding in it, more in general the course will provide solid competences on how to establish business relations with family businesses, that are the most common type of organization in the world.

Connection to research and practice

This course builds on the research excellence and practical relevance of the Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership, bridging the core competences of JIBS faculty on family entrepreneurship. The students will have a unique opportunity for applying the most relevant theoretical concepts to examples, cases and experiences from entrepreneurial families around the world. The course is specially designed for those who are interested in starting a family business, entering, acquiring or succeeding in it, more in general the course will provide solid competences on how to establish business relations with family businesses, that are the most common type of organization in the world.

Type of instruction

The course combines lectures and seminars 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 may also draw upon experiential learning practices, such as showing and discussing movies.
The course is on-campus. The teaching is conducted in English.

The teaching is conducted in English.


Bachelor’s degree (i.e the equivalent of 180 ECTS credits at an accredited university) with at least 60 credits in informatics, business administration, computer science, computer engineering, information engineering, or equivalent.

Examination and grades

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

ILO Assessed through examination:
- Group case study works and presentations (ILOs: 2, 3, 5, 6) representing 3 credits
- Individual examinations (ILOs: 1, 3, 4, 5) representing 4.5 credits)

Registration of examination:
Name of the TestValueGrading
Group case study works and presentation13 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
Individual written examination4.5 creditsA/B/C/D/E/FX/F
1 All parts of compulsory examination in the course must be passed with a passing grade (A-E) before a final grade can be set. 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.

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

Course literature

Compulsory Literature

The full list of readings will be supplied at the course introduction.

Recommended Literature

Zellweger, T. (2017). “Managing the Family Business: Theory and Practice”. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (suggested reading).

Recommended Literature

Course book: Hoy, F. & Sharma, P. (2010), Entrepreneurial family firms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.