Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEMF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course aims at developing students’ skills in analyzing the specific features of family firms, in assessing their key problems and opportunities, and in creatively proposing strategic, organizational and governance solutions. The course is targeted to the next generation of members of controlling-families, and to all those students who may be willing to start their career in a family or private firm, or to become consultants and advisors to family firms. The course is targeted in particular to developing each participant’s leadership skills in introducing entrepreneurial innovations in established organizational contexts such as family firms, and in contributing to their renewal and competitive success.

This highly interactive course includes active simulations, role plays, videos, guest lectures and real-case discussions. There is no mid-term or final exam. The evaluation is mainly grounded on the development (individually or in couples) of a teaching case (similar to those discussed in class) or of an academic paper (similar to a research paper). The teaching case or academic paper is autonomously selected by the student (or couple of students). Drafts of sections of the case/paper are presented and discussed in class throughout the course, to facilitate their gradual development. The best teaching cases developed by students may be used for discussion in subsequent years. Academic papers may become the starting point for developing the student’s Final Paper.

Course Content Summary

  • Family firms: key features and presence in Italy and other countries.
  • Key values and principles behind the success of the family-firm system.
  • Strategic management in family firms.
  • Strategic choices of family firms: growth, internationalization, acquisitions, external financing.
  • Strategy and structure: the role of non-family managers.
  • Strategy and structure: the role of boards of directors and of independent board members.
  • Training future leaders.
  • Succession in leadership positions.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Attending students will be assessed as follows:

1) Active class contribution: 3 points (about 10%)
2) Academic Paper or Teaching Case: 22 points (about 74%)
3) Peer feedback on colleagues’ handouts: 6 points (about 20%)
Total: 31 points (about 104%)

(*) The percentages add up to 104% to allow the best performing participant reach 31 points, which equals to the top final mark of 30 plus honors.
  • All elements of this evaluation scheme must be completed in order to pass the course as attending students.
  • There will be no re-weighting of components within the course.
  • There will be no closing exam (but students must register for the first exam date, without having to be present: the final mark will be automatically recorded).

Retake Rules.
Students who fail the paper project (Academic paper or Teaching case) may retake it. This requires doing new research on a different company/topic than the one analyzed for the original project. The intention to retake the paper project must be communicated by email to the instructor. The due date for a retake is 4 calendar weeks after receiving your original paper grade.

For Non-attending
100% final written exam in class based uniquely on the two indicated textbooks.


For Attending 
  • G. CORBETTA, C. SALVATO, Strategies for Longevity in Family Firms. A European Perspective, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

For Non attending

  • G. CORBETTA, C. SALVATO, Strategies for Longevity in Family Firms. A European Perspective, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
  • E.J. POZA, Family business, South Western, CENGAGE, 201, 3rd edition.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 18/06/2014 10:24