Family Business Management

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Family Business Management

  • Host University

    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Location

    Madrid, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Management

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


    Essentials of Business Management

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Knowledge-based competences:
    - To acquire an in-depth knowledge of family-owned or controlled firms, with special emphasis on their idiosyncrasies.
    - To provide appropriate tools to exploit the specific competitive advantages of family firms
    - To resolve the challenges inherent in family firms.
    - To become acquainted with the specific characteristics of family firm management bodies and the use of the family agreement.
    - Capacity to advise and manage family firms.
    - Ability to tackle family firms specific subjects, such as succession, professionalization, financing, etc.
    - To develop managerial and leadership skills in organisations where both family and business interests may be involved.
    - To understand and be able to take decisions when faced with situations that are specific to family firms.
    - To awaken an interest in developing a career path in a family firm, bearing in mind the importance that these companies have in the industrial fabric of today¿s economies.


    1. Family firms. Concept and typology
    2. Idiosyncracy of family firms: competitive advantages and specific problems.
    3. Corporate governance in family firms.
    4. Family firms as going concerns. generational renewal.
    5. Family contractual agreements.
    6. Organiztional structures and human resource management of family firms.
    7. Growth of family firms.


    Students who will be tomorrow company managers or even owners of family firms, must understand the idiosyncrasies of these organisations. To achieve this, the course will be based on the following methodology:
    - Classes and lectures explaining the course contents and assignments.
    - Practical classes based on the case study method and discussions
    - Final project, devoted to the analysis of a specific family firm or a family firms subject put forward by the lecturer.



    At the end of the semester, students will be tested by means of a final exam. The exam will account for 60% of the final grade.
    The developing, solving and discussing the case studies on the practical classes will account for 20% of the final grade.
    The team project will account for 20% of the final grade.

    % end-of-term-examination:60

    % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...): 40



    Melin, L., Nordqvist, M y Sharma, P.. The SAGE Handbook of Family Business. SAGE. 2014

    Zellwegwer, T.. Managing the family business. Theory and practice. Edward Elgar Pu.. 2017



    Kets de Vries, M.. Family Business. Thompson. 1996

    Miller, D.y Le Breton-Miller, I.. Managing for the long run: Lessons in competitive advantage from great family business. Harvard Business School Press. 2005

Course Disclaimer

Please note that there are no beginning level Spanish courses offered in this program.

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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