CeFEO Thesis Award

A jury of CeFEO faculty members from have been evaluating and granting awards for bachelor’s and master’s theses on Family Business and Ownership written by JIBS students since 2013.

 

To qualify for the competition, a thesis should meet the following criteria: address family business issues, theoretically and/or empirically; have received a grade of at least a B in the final exam.

We consider this competition a unique opportunity for disseminating our research interest between the students of JIBS, reinforcing their interest toward the family business dimension.

For more information about our Family Business Thesis Award, contact: Massimo Baù

 

Awards

Hereafter, the recepients of the awards:

BEST QUANTITATIVE MASTER THESIS

Unleashing the Potential of Open Innovation in Family Firms: Towards the Explanation of the Ability and Willingness Dichotomy in Family Firms

Autors: Elisa Engels & SIna Fabienne Herholz
Supervisor: Tommaso Minola

Abstract: Research on Open Innovation (OI) is flourishing and opening the innovation process is increasingly perceived as a vital source for sustained competitive advantage. Nascent research on OI in family firms left us to wonder whether the performance-enhancing effects of OI also hold true for family firms. What we do know so far is despite that family firms typically possess greater ability to innovate, they lack the willingness to do so. Taking this as a starting point, the purpose of this study was to identify sources of family firm heterogeneity, in order to explain how these differences influence their willingness to engage in OI and further assess the overall relevance of OI models for family firms. In an attempt to resolve the innovation paradox, the present study builds upon a multi-theory approach of behavioral lenses, to capture the inherent complexities of family firm innovation. Empirical evidence from a cross-industry analysis of 176 German Mittelstand firms provides strong support for the importance of OI practices in a family firm context. Precisely, we affirm that family firms generate increased performance outcomes when engaging in OI. Our findings unearth a double-edged sword that higher generations foster a family firm’s willingness to engage in OI, but hamper their ability to benefit from it. Our findings are especially relevant in light of current market dynamics and build the bridge between OI and family firm research in an insightful manner. We thereby contribute to solving one piece of the innovation puzzle and identify promising areas for future research.

Read it on DIVA

 

BEST QUALITATIVE MASTER THESIS

Growing Your Own Branch While Pruning the Family Tree: An Exploratory Study of Individual Career Management in the Context of Family Business

Authors: Jen Lundgren & Kajsa Hultén
Supervisor: Sambit Lenka

Abstract: The concept of individual career management has emerged from changes in the socioeconomic environment and conditions for how the world of work is perceived by most individuals. The previous long-term relationship between employers and employees has shifted to a contemporary ephemeral one and the current dynamic setting of careers entails more self- directive planning individual responsibility than historically. Family businesses represent a dominant part of organisational forms around the world, yet little is known about individual career management in the family business setting. Thus, this study include family members active in family firms around the Jönköping region to explore the concept of individual career management in the context of family business.

Read it on DIVA


BEST THESIS AWARD

Soft Issues in Family Firms – A Study About Content And Process Advisors

Autors: Marina Baù & Peter Trümmel
Supervisor: Mattias Nordqvist

Abstract: Family firms have a strong impact on the world’s well-being, in terms of social stability, international wealth creation, and global development. Advisors appear essential to ensure the family firms’ prosperity and success, representing a potential source of advantage. There are several types of advisors working for family firms. Our study focuses on formal advisors (i.e. professionals, legally hired and paid by family firms), that either provide process or content advisory. Process advisors focus more on family dynamics and processes (e.g. relational and emotional aspect), while content advisors provide strategic services and specialized knowledge.

Read it on DIVA

 

HONORABLE MENTION

The Chairperson of the Board – An exploratory study in Swedish Enterprises

Authors: Alexander Meineke & Anup Banerjee
Supervisor: Mattias Nordqvist

Abstract: This study is an initial attempt to answer to the lack of qualitative research specifically focusing on the of the board chair. Historically, this role has been considered as undervalued and misunderstood, however, more recently scholars are devoting an increasing interest and attention to this role. Evidently, there is a higher awareness for corporate governance matters, yet only a few studies have inquired into this phenomenon. In fact, scholars point out that chairpersons are among a group of individuals that are particularly hard to access for the purpose of academic research. While this role has been studied mainly in the US context, there is no study that has been conducted in the Nordic region.

Read it on DIVA

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Open Innovation in Family Firms – How does the Family Involvement influence the Implementation of Open Innovation?

Authors: Kristin Klinge & Eike Bünker
Supervisor: Tommaso Minola

Abstract: The concept of open innovation is well researched by various scholars in the context of large organizations and SMEs. However, the link to family firms is often missing and under researched. Resulting of the importance of the “how” component in family firm research, it is interesting to see how family firms actually implement the concept of open innovation and how it is influenced by unique family firm characteristics. Therefore, this study sheds light on how the family involvement affects the implementation of open innovation.

Read it on DIVA

 


not assigned

 

BEST THESIS AWARD

Opening the Black Box of Financing Decision-Making: Exploring the Process, Actors and Arenas in Family Firms

Author: Anna Maria Bornhausen and Konstantin Kuehl
Supervisor: Hans Lundberg

Motivation: The students conducted a multiple case study research proposing an original explanation of how the financing decision-making process unfolds in family firms. The topic is particularly interesting because of the interplay of financial and non-financial goals in family firms. The authors interviewed 15 respondents in 3 case companies as well as 2 consultants, collecting more than 18 hours of empirical material. Drawing on strategy-as-practice and the concepts of strategic actors and arenas, the thesis uncovers where the process unfolds and who is involved. The authors show how the financing process develops through the alternation between formal and informal arenas, and varying practices of conformity and friction. The contribution is solid, well written and based on in-depth empirical analysis. The thesis represents a valid contribution to family business research as well as an interesting reading for practitioners who are involved in financing decision-making processes.

Read it on DIVA

 

BEST QUALITATIVE MASTER THESIS

Blood is Thicker Than Water. An Examination of the Exclusion of Non-Family Managers in Family Firms

Authors: Damjan Malbasic & Christina Purtscheller
Supervisor: Ethel Brundin

The students conducted a multiple case study research proposing an original explanation of the exclusion of non-family managers. The reasons are six. Exclusion can be based on the family’s values and norms, exclusive knowledge of a family member, the need of quick decision making, the need of secrecy, the manager’s professional values and norms, and the manager’s personal values and norms. The contribution is solid and well written. Important insights are supported by theories and a valid use of quotation.

Read it on DIVA


BEST QUANTITATIVE THESIS AWARD

Understanding Socioemotional Wealth – Examining SEW and Its Effect on Internationalizaton

Authors: Qing Lan
Supervisor: Francesco Chirico

Motivation: The thesis is solid and well written, and presents a valid statistical analysis that demonstrates a clear understanding of different techniques and softwares.The author addresses an important topic in the family business literature advancing the research on the impact of Socio-Emotional Wealth (SEW) on the internationalization of family-owned hidden champions. The findings reveal that SEW has a negative effect on the internationalization of family firms, which is mainly due to the negative effect of family control and influence.

Read it on DIVA


HONORABLE MENTION

An emotional ownership perspective on the dynamics of role conflicts and relationship conflicts within family businesses

Authors: Stefanie Höneß & Adam Tarek Kamal
Supervisor: Ethel Brundin

Motivation: The thesis aims to determine how the emotional ownership of family members influence the relationship conflicts within family firms. Students identify different reasons, such as the existence of norms to govern the separation of family- and work-related roles within the family and the company, strong family cohesion and trust among the family and its members, cultural factors. The theoretical contribution is presented and discussed as well as interesting suggestions for practitioners dealing with relational conflicts within the family.

Read it on DIVA


HONORABLE MENTION

An Earthquake or Just a Tremor? How German Family Firms Will Be Affected by the Upcoming Change of the Inheritance Taxation

Authors: Julia Karin Baumanns & Dominik Moritz Konrad Schörm
Tutor: Jonas Dahlqvist

Motivation: The thesis deals with a relevant topic for family business research on ownership succession.The authors discuss how and in what way the decision on ownership transition within family firms is influenced by the change of the German inheritance taxation. Important implications for practice are identified and discussed.The preservation of family ownership seems to be more important than the transaction costs generated by the inheritance law. Resistances to the reform are not associated to the increasing costs, but rather due to difficulties and opacities.

Read it on DIVA

 

BEST QUALITATIVE MASTER THESIS

The Family Business Brand – Exploring Consumer Brand Association

Authors: Henok Hayle & Sanna Persson
Supervisor: Tomas Müllern

Motivation: The students propose a deep case study focused on the brand identity of family firms, suggesting the existence of a family firms’ reputational capital. The thesis deals with a topic that has received little attention and has not only theoretical relevance but is also important for practice. The contribution is solid and well written. Important insights are supported by theories and a valid use of quotation.


BEST QUANTITATIVE MASTER THESIS

Performance of Swedish listed family-firms

Author: Andreas Rasku
Supervisor: Agostino Manduchi

Motivation: The thesis is solid and well written, and presents a valid statistical analysis.The author addresses an important topic in the family business literature demonstrating that founding-family firms over-perform non-family firms in the Swedish listed marked, recognizing the importance of the founder CEO’s knowledge.

 

BEST BACHELOR THESIS

Family capital influence on the internationalization of family firms – A multiple case study of Swedish Family Firms

Authors: Xin Liu, Modestas Musteikis, & David-Robert Schröder
Tutor: Imran Nazir

Motivation: The thesis deals with a relevant topic for family business research. The authors discuss the influence of the family toward the internationalization of the company in terms of human, social and financial capital. The contribution well written and provides interesting insights that support existing theories.

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Succession intentions in ethnic family businesses with emphasis on transfer of tacit knowledge and social capital

Authors: Petra Vretenar & Soukaina Lamrani
Supervisor: Mattias Nordqvist

Motivation: The thesis addresses an interesting and rather new topic subject of relevance for family firms succession. It is well written and favour a better understanding of ethnic minority family businesses. The study shows that ethnic minority entrepreneurs in Sweden do not want to pass on their business to next generation and the perceived no involvement of the ethnic community in any aspect of the business. The findings encourage future researches on the topic.



These awards have been made possible through a donation from Henry and Sylvia Toft Foundation, with the purpose of supporting the development and dissemination of knowledge of family owned firms.


1st PRIZE

Just like a marriage? Success factors in the relationship between the non-family CEO and the owner family

Authors: Martin Steffan Pinhack and Mattias Christian Waldkirch
Supervisor: Annika Hall

Motivation: The master thesis deals with an interesting subject of relevance for family firms. It is solid and well written, and it provides important insights by supporting theories with a valid use of quotation in a deep case study in the context of family firms.


2nd PRIZE

After the ground stopped shaking: socioemotional wealth and social capital in post-disaster recovery of small business (Master Thesis)

Authors: Rocky Adiguna and Abshir Sharif
Supervisor: Lucia Naldi

Motivation: The master thesis is ambitious and well written, and presents a valid statistical analysis. It challenges different theories and introduces an interesting new theoretical model to discuss small family firms re-start after a natural disaster.


3rd PRIZE

A cultural extension on familiness. A case study on Spendrups Bryggeri AB

Authors: Anders Erikson, Jonatan Ovall, Arvid Scheller
Supervisor: Anders Melander

Motivation: The bachelor thesis present a solid theoretical framework in the family business literature. It is interesting and well written, and it provides a good qualitative research approach based on a very deep interview process.


These awards have been made possible through a donation from Henry and Sylvia Toft Foundation, with the purpose of supporting the development and dissemination of knowledge of family owned firms.


Content updated 2020-08-21