A Conversation about Research Methods in FB

June 16, 2020

Massimo Bau, Jönköping International Business School (Sweden) & Emanuela Rondi, Free University of Bozen/Bolzano (Italy), about research methods in family business. Part of the 2020 IFERA Research Development Program. Video password: baurondiiferamembers

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How to Conduct a Literature Review

June 16, 2020

Professor Salvatore Sciascia, LIUC University (Italy), about how to conduct a literature review. Part of the 2020 IFERA Research Development Program. Webinar slides here. Video password: sciasciaiferamembers

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Theory Building in Family Business Research

June 16, 2020

Professor Thomas Zellweger, University of St Gallen (Switzerland), about theory building in family business research: some reflections based on the paper “Property Rights, Owner-Management, and Value Creation” forthcoming in Academy of Management Review. Guest speaker: Bill Schulze Part of the 2020 IFERA Research Development Program. Webinar slides here. Video password: zellwegeriferamembers

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Trends and Opportunities in Family Business Research

June 14, 2020

Professor Alfredo De Massis, Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, talks about trends and opportunities in family business research. Part of the 2020 IFERA Research Development Program. Webinar slides here. Video password: demassisiferamembers

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FB in times of crisis: Cheung Ah Seung Ent., Indian Ocean

June 12, 2020

As part of the series of interviews on “Family Businesses in Times of Crisis”, we are pleased to share the conversation of Rania Labaki, Associate Professor and Director of the EDHEC Family Business Centre, with Jean and Jean-Alain Cheung-Ah-Seung, third generation members in charge of the Operations of CHEUNG AH SEUNG Enterprises based in the Indian Ocean (Reunion Island and Mayotte). Founded in 1964 by their grand-father who emigrated from China at age 13, CHEUNG AH SEUNG Enterprises is a medium-sized group of specialized service companies that strive to offer their customers turnkey and packaged solutions powered by 5 areas of expertise: logistics and transportation, lifting, construction equipment, maintenance, and removal. The COVID-19 pandemic had a ripple effect on the world economies and societies. How have the family and the business been particularly impacted? Youngsters from the 3rd generation, who are studying overseas, had to stay home and followed their distance-learning courses. Lockdown away from home was not easy to handle but they showed great solidarity between them. We created a task force to exchange intel from our different industries but also to quickly take the necessary measures to protect the family integrity. Regarding the family real estate assets, we have been trying to assist our tenants as much as possible. As for the Operations, the pandemic variously impacted our different business units. Some of these business units, such as our removal companies, had to thoroughly stop their activities. Similarly, all construction sites closed down, impacting our equipment rental and lifting activities. On the other hand, businesses like industrial maintenance, logistics and transportation never stopped. We guaranteed a service continuity for our customers in charge of vital activities. In the meantime, the on-call duty service was reinforced. The diversity of our industries has always been a managerial challenge on a daily basis. This said, we developed some kind of natural resilience and agility that helped us face the ordeals. Thanks to the commitment of every employees (office staff, truck drivers, sales rep, technicians, managers, executive committee members, head of business units) and the agility of the organization, we managed to curtail the loss of revenue to 30%. In Mayotte, our main concern was the complex social climate. Luckily enough, the team natural resilience is helping them to navigate quite well through the crisis. How did these changes translate into initiatives (or strategies)? Firstly, neither the 2nd, nor the 3rd generation, ever faced such a scenario and we are handling the situation with great humility. We focused on our family values, on our employees and our customers. We are lucky enough to be able to share our opinions and experience with family friends, suppliers, customers and partners which helped us to decipher the trends. Moreover, the trust given by the 2nd generation made us more confident in the actions taken. At a very early stage, the Executive Committee, together with the managers, came up with and agreed on the following action plan: Focus on cash flow: everyone, at every level helped with the debt collection Protect our employees: we managed to maintain the salaries (yet we had to take hard decisions […]

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Family businesses in times of crisis: Pellini Caffè, Italy

June 5, 2020

As part of the series of interviews dedicated to “Family Businesses in Times of Crisis”, we are happy to share the conversation between Carlotta Benedetti, PhD student at Free university of Bolzano and Nicolò Pellini, Head of Management Control Systems and third generation family member at Pellini Caffè. The Pellini roasting company has been dedicated to the production of high-quality espresso coffee since 1922. With its plant located in Italy, near Verona, Caffè Pellini has been constantly growing in the last years, and it’s currently among the market leaders in the Italian coffee industry. The COVID19 emergency has changed our lives. How has the life of Pellini as a company and as a family changed? We consider ourselves lucky as, being part of the food industry, the government allowed us to continue our production activities. Moreover, even if we had to stop working with bars and restaurants, the other distribution channels have helped in compensating the losses. From an organizational point of view, the production automatization developed over the last few years and a number of measures such as the spacing between desks, the schedule of common areas and shifts, the use of smart working and the adoption of frequent sanitization processes has allowed us to operate without interruption and in complete safety. Have you had the opportunity to plan any long-term strategy to face this challenging moment? From a strategic perspective, this period has led us to rethink some of the initiatives that already existed, especially those oriented to lower the impact of our activities on the environment. On a practical level, however, we were led to innovate the way we work, using smart working and establishing a relationship with our agents based on working from remote. How did you manage this new way of working? We decided to implement the use of smart working only with a few employees, mainly within the sales department and in particular with our agents. For the other departments it was enough to follow the general guidelines of distancing and sanitization. You are among the so-called “Made in Italy” companies with a strong international orientation. Do you think there will be specific repercussions on the “Made in Italy” district? From the numbers that we have access to, such as those related to exports, we strongly believe that the coffee industry will be able to react positively to this crisis. As far as the other realities we work with such as roasters, bars and restaurants, unfortunately we believe that they will probably suffer from this period of emergency. Pellini supply chain is composed by different suppliers from different areas of the world. How do you think this pandemic emergency will affect your strategic partners and suppliers? If we talk about our supply chain, we must consider that it has slowed down a bit. It has not always been easy to find the raw materials, especially from countries as far away as Brazil. Do you think that some of your partners will face struggles in dealing with this period? Have you planned any initiatives to support them? In our case, we decided to undertake a […]

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