Degree course: 
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours)

There are no binding prerequisites, but basic knowledge of strategy, organization and business law is recommended.

Final Examination: 

Students' learning will be tested:
- in class by giving direct feedbacks during lectures and case discussions
- by the exam, which is in written form and consists of 3 questions on ashort family business case, aimed at applying theories and models learned during the course to real-life situations

Voto Finale

The course of Management and Governance of Family firms intends to help students: i) to deeply understand distinctive traits, evolution paths and continuity conditions of family firms, with a special focus on strategic management, organization, business governance as well as on transitions in leadership, ownership and family; ii) by this means, to actively contribute to family firms' viability in their future roles, both as family business members involved in management and governance and as non-family managers, advisors or managers of financial institutions.

To reach these goals, students will be challenged to build up a solid and specific theoretical knowledge (based on textbooks and other materials) as well as as to develop the ability to to apply theory to cases in a problem-solving, inter-functional and inter-disciplinary perspective, making personal analyses and diagnoses of complex family business issues.

The course deals, in essence, with the following topics:

- Family business original traits, main challenges and continuity conditions: an overview
- The crucial role of responsible ownership values
- The strategy process and strategic decisions at business level
- Organization strategies
- Governance strategies
- Generational transitions in leadership and ownership
- Family agreements
- Governing transitions and the role of third parties.

Detailed program:

Course introduction.

Family business: relevance and distinctive traits and dynamics.

The family business system: a case discussion

Classical and emerging conditions for family business continuity

The top condition for family business continuity: responsible ownership values and their transmission over generations.
Two cases’ discussion.

The peculiar traits of strategy process and strategic decisions in family firms at business level

Focused leadership strategies and their sustainability conditions

Growth strategies and their sustainability conditions

A case discussion

Organizational strategies. Grooming and integrating non-family managers.

A case discussion

Organizational strategies. Grooming and integrating non-family managers. Developing structures and operating systems

Governance strategies at company, ownership and family level

Transition processes in ownership, leadership and management: an overview of challenges and success conditions; growing future leaders and co-leaders

Governing transition processes and the special role od advisors. A case discussion

Governing transition processes. A testimonial

Course materials include:

1) Selected readings (subject to integrations, available on the website):
- The Economist, To have and to hold, Special Report on Family Companies, 18th April 2015
- Harris, Martinez, Ward, Is strategy different in family firms?, FBR, 1994
- Ward, The special role of strategic planning for family businesses, FBR, 1988
- Ward, Growing the family business, FBR, 1997
- Aronoff, Ward, An open letter to the non-family executive, FEP, 2000
- Corbetta, Salvato, The board of directors in family firms: one size fits all?, FBR, 2004
- Gnan, Montemerlo, Huse, Governance systems in family SMEs: the substitution effects between family councils and corporate governance mechanisms, JSBM, 2013
- Martin, Is family governance an oxymoron?, FBR, 2001
- Corbetta, Maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit across generations, EY, 2014
- Lansberg, The tests of a prince, HBR, 2009
- Montemerlo, Note on team leadership, 2015
- Montemerlo, Siblings’ capital: a special asset for family continuity, 2015
- Gersick, Essay on practice: advising family enterprise in the fourth decade, ETP, 2015

2) Recommended textbooks:
- Aronoff C., Ward J.L., “More than Family: Non-Family Executives in the Family Business”, Family Enterprise Publishers, 2000
- Montemerlo D. and Ward J.L., The Family Constitution, Palgrave, 2011
3) Cases for discussion (available on the website session by session):
- Cerini
- Hermès
- Balestri
- Ferragamo
- Rubelli

4) Slides (available on the website session by session)

Interactive lectures, case discussions, testimonials