Meet Torsten Pieper

April 3, 2018

As a young boy growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Torsten Pieper developed a personal interest in family business way before becoming a researcher. Now an accomplished family business scholar, Torsten came a long way and continues to express his commitment to the field with dedication, energy and elegance. His many contributions to the field include, but are not limited to, the editorship of JFBS, an intense research agenda and, of course, his long-term commitment to IFERA and his current role as the IFERA president. His ambitious vision and contagious passion are the inspiration behind IFERA’s recent developments and, perhaps even more importantly, behind the smile of all his collaborators. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Torsten Pieper: Why Family Business? There are three reasons primarily. First, family businesses are the most prevalent type of organization in the world. Yet, they remain hugely underrepresented in the academic literature. Think about it this way: upward of 90% of all businesses are family controlled. But less than 10% of articles published include family as a variable of interest. It’s gotten better over the years, but there still a huge imbalance. The better we understand family businesses, the more we can help them leverage their unique strengths and capabilities to maximize their effectiveness. Second, family businesses do a lot of good and expect very little in return. They often pursue goals other than mere profit and they usually do so in a sustainable fashion, as good stewards of their employees, customers, and the environment. These are laudable objectives, in my opinion, and I firmly believe the economy and society at large would be better off if more organizations and individuals embraced a similar attitude. Third, I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My father started a company that evolved into a multinational business, and his ancestors owned a diversified construction and agriculture business in Eastern Europe for many generations. So I have a personal interest as well. What is the best part of being the IFERA President? Working with you, and with so many other talented, fun, and dedicated people, of course! IFERA has always been close to my heart. My first job was secretary to the board many years ago, and I had the unique opportunity to see IFERA and the field grow over the years. The dynamism is enormous and I know of few other fields that have experienced a similar growth pattern as family business has. From everything I know, there is no end in sight. You get to meet a lot of interesting people, and I greatly value the many wonderful friendships that have grown out of my affiliation with IFERA. It’s something I am very grateful for. What is your big ambition for it? To help IFERA become THE organization for family business academics and others interested in the subject in the world. We have a fantastic team of smart and energetic board members who are doing tremendous work. There are a lot of projects and new initiatives ongoing that shall add further value to what we are currently doing. For instance, one of our teams under the lead […]

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