The Supervisor-Supervisee Relationship during Covid19

February 16, 2021

The unforeseen crisis caused by COVID-19 is imposing a new reality on our personal and professional lives. In academia, conferences, meetings, and classes have been moved to a fully online environment which requires strong adaptation, especially in shifting to home-based work. This new setting had a substantial impact on students starting their PhD Programs, making their first year of learning and building connections even more difficult. With this issue in mind, we have asked PhD students and their supervisors to share how their relationship has adapted to this unexpected situation. Our first article provides the perspective of two IFERA members, Isabel C. Botero, Director of the Family Business Center and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville, and her research assistant and first year PhD Student, Juliana Binhote. Enjoy the reading!   Covid19 is challenging all our lives. How has your life changed during the pandemic? IB: The first change, I would say, is that I am working way more than before because the boundaries between work and life seem to have disappeared. Especially if you work from home, you must be very purposeful, for instance, establishing that after 5pm, you are not answering emails. Keeping this schedule is really hard especially when you have access to your phone all the time and you think “this is only one email; it only takes two minutes”. The second change is that I had to become much more organized because, when the boundaries between work and life get blurred, you can end up being distracted by your different roles.  During this year, I have tried to separate my tasks. For example, I must answer emails only twice a day instead of answering every time a new email comes in, otherwise I won’t be able to do all my other work. Another big change in my life is that I do not travel as much as before. For me travelling is a way to relax and I miss that a lot. As time goes by, I miss it even more. I cannot wait until the vaccine will come so I can get vaccinated, get on a plane and travel around the world to visit all the places I have not seen. JB: To start, my life decision to move to a new country and a new university has been on hold because of the measures imposed, including international flights restrictions. However, the University of Louisville and all its members have been very supportive and provided me the opportunity to begin my Ph.D. in a fully online format. Likewise, working from home in different time zones required changes in my daily routine and compromises with my family in order to allocate time to my Ph.D. activities. The biggest change during this pandemic is to actually find a work-life balance since it’s all in the same environment. Luckily, my family and Isabel have been a tremendous help in preventing me from working too much and encouraged me to focus in achieving a good work-life balance.   The choice of engaging in a PhD program is very demanding, both for a student and for […]

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How to Turn a Ph.D. Research into a Book

February 4, 2021

An interview with Dr. Alan Amling and Journey Sixty6 founders Dave Goetz and Melissa Parks Some of the best ideas never see the light of day. Or they see only a few moments of the daylight in the form of academic journals. In this webinar, two writing experts, Dave Goetz and Melissa Parks, interview Dr. Alan Amling, whose Ph.D. work centered on topic of innovation and disruption in large incumbent corporations. Dr. Amling spent his career at UPS, an American multinational package delivery and supply chain management company. In this last role at UPS, he served as a leader for its venture capital group. In a few months, Dr. Amling’s book called “Organizational Velocity” will be released. Dr. Amling worked with Dave and Melissa to translate the more technical writing and research, derived from his Ph.D. dissertation, into a trade book format that appeals to a much wider audience. Attendees of the webinar will hear what Dr. Amling has discovered over the course of the past year of writing, including • How he narrowed his dissertation into an engaging thesis for a book; • How he identified his core audience for the book; • The keys to translating ideas from academic research into more popular language; • How to identify key stories from the research and craft them into supportive material for the book; and • How to expand the core ideas from the dissertation into takeaways for the reader. DATE: February 26, 2021 TIME: 4.00  PM (CET) Free Resource to identify your primary reader: “Who Is My Reader”: Watch the video:

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Get to know our LATAM Chapter: Renata Bernardon

January 13, 2021

This series of interviews is meant to introduce our IFERA Latam Chapter committee, devoted to advancing Family Business Research in Latin America. Renata Bernardon graduated in business from the PUCRS (2001), she has a Master in Business and Administration also from PUCRS (2004), a MBA Entrepreneurship & Family Business from, EAE, Barcelona – Spain (2007) and a Ph.D. in Business from the UNISINOS, with a period at EDHEC (France) (2018) as a visiting researcher. She has experience in the area of management, with emphasis on strategy and direction of Family Businesses. She is currently Director of Continuing Education at PUCRS, professor at undergraduate and postgraduate level of disciplines related to Family Business Management, and acting as an independent advisor on boards of directors. Licenciada en Administración de Empresas por la PUCRS (2001), Maestría en Negocios y Administración también por la PUCRS (2004), MBA en Emprendimiento y Empresa Familiar por la EAE, Barcelona, España (2007) y Doctorado en Administración por la Unisinos, con período de estudios en EDHEC (Francia) (2018) como investigadora invitada. Tiene experiencia en el área de Administración, con énfasis en Administración Estratégica y Gestión de Empresas Familiares. Actualmente es Directora de Educación Continuada de la PUCRS, profesora a nivel de pregrado y posgrado de disciplinas relacionadas con la temática de Gestión de Empresas Familiares, además de actuar como asesora independiente en juntas directivas.   How long have you been a member of IFERA? ¿Cuándo se unió como miembro a IFERA? I have been with IFERA for five years, since 2015. Desde 2015.   How many annual conferences have you attended so far? ¿A cuántas conferencias anuales asistió hasta ahora? 2019 – Bergamo – Italy 2018 – Zwolle – Netherlands 2017 – Zadar – Croatia 2016 – Bogotá – Colombia   Based on your knowledge, what would you say about researching in Brazil? Con base en sus conocimientos, ¿qué diría sobre la realización de investigaciones en Brasil? In Brazil, scientific activity presents several challenges. We know that 60% of the research produced is concentrated in 15 public universities; that is, it is still necessary to overcome aspects such as the attractiveness for the researcher’s career, since it is unattractive from an economic point of view, in addition to mechanisms for access to resources. Specifically, concerning the field of family businesses, in Brazil, this is even worse. Although there is research, they still deal with aspects related to the family and non-family business dichotomy. Few studies/researches address the family’s influence on the business and vice versa, which in my opinion is the characteristic of analysis of relevance and impact. It is also necessary to have scientific rigor and bring appropriate theoretical lenses for interpreting the data and adopting proper methodologies for understanding the family business phenomenon. En Brasil la actividad científica se enfrenta a diferentes desafíos. Sabemos que un 60% de la investigación producida se concentra en 15 (quince) universidades públicas, o sea, aún se hace necesario superar tales aspectos como la atracción hacia la carrera de investigador, una vez que resulta poco atractiva desde el punto de vista económico, además de la dificultad de mecanismos para acceder a los […]

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Career and Cause: Relevant Family Business Research

January 7, 2021

This webinar will explore the nature of relevant research and discuss how it is the key to finding meaning in one’s career as well as how to leverage it into meeting career goals. Relevance has become a very important topic of late in academia, particularly in business schools. The accrediting bodies (AACSB, EFMD, EQUIS) are taking notice and beginning to require new and creative ways to demonstrate relevance. Even the keepers of the FT 150 are struggling with the topic as evidenced by their latest survey of academicians and business schools. This session will bridge the gap and hopefully allow you to discover the ways in which your research can be helpful to the wides audience possible with the deepest impact and a career booster at the same time. SPEAKER: Joseph Astrachan DATE: January 28, 2021 TIME: 5.00 -6.00 pm (CET)   WATCH THE WEBINAR:

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Recovering From the Covid-19 Pandemic: Organizational and Individual Determinants

December 7, 2020

Companies around the world have been shaken by the outbreak of Covid-19. Yet, there seems to be a wide heterogeneity in the response of firms to the pandemic. What shapes the ability of companies to overcome pandemics and other external shocks? Using archival and survey data from a variety of institutional contexts, I will discuss the role of governance and leadership at the firm level, as well as the role of individual traits related to entrepreneurs’ human capital and psychology. Empirical evidence suggests that family-controlled firms are better equipped than non-family firms to overcome a pandemic. Individual factors, too, play a significant role: optimistic beliefs, in parallel with risk tolerance and education, are positively associated with the ability to undertake corporate actions to face the pandemic. Collectively, these results provide novel evidence on the ability to ride out of catastrophic events. SPEAKER: Mario Daniele Amore, SDA Bocconi DATE: December 10, 2020 TIME: 6.00 – 7.00 PM, CET Watch the webinar:

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Preserving a family business and looking after the environment: Café Monteverde, Honduras

November 27, 2020

Currently, around the world, around two billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Most of the coffees that we enjoy are produced by families in countries with a long tradition of coffee production. Some of these families have dedicated over generations to produce high quality coffee and successful businesses. This article relates to a unique coffee producing family business in Honduras, Central America. Cafe Monteverde is a family business established in 1985. It was started by Omar Osorio with the planting of the first coffee land plots of the Catuaí variety* on the La Porra farm on the Sierra de Montecillos, a mountainous stretch in the central coffee region in Honduras – home to some of the best coffees produced for export in the country. Currently the La Porra farm is owned and managed by two generations of the Osorio family. The Osorio family produces, harvests and roasts coffee for local and international markets. The La Porra farm comprises approximately 30 hectares and is located between 1,365 to 1,411 meters above sea level. The average temperature in these altitudes helps to produce a unique environment that influences the quality of coffee harvested. Such geographical location is important as precipitation in the farm ensures that water is available throughout a year, which eliminates the risk of water deficit that could be detrimental for quality of coffee beans produced. For more than a decade the farm’s coffee harvest was sold to local exporters. Yet in 1996, family members identified that the Honduran consumer did not have the opportunity to obtain and enjoy high quality coffees. Thus, they set out to develop a coffee aimed at local consumers who were beginning to demand coffees with high quality attributes. Since 1996 the demand for Café Monteverde has experienced an average yearly increase between 15 to 20% in sales. The family attributes such success to the promotion made by consumers locally but also internationally. Café Monteverde does not invest in marketing yet constantly receives messages from the United States asking how they can get their products in their homes and stores. Certifications, the environment and the social impact of a coffee producing family The La Porra Farm is certified under the Rainforest Alliance seal, an international certification that benchmarks Café Monteverde against a standard that combines social and environmental principles. For the Osorio family, having café Monteverde certified matters as it signals that the farm not only meets their family desire for environmental stewardship but also that working conditions in terms of wages, personal and social security of labourers complies with international expectations. Gabriela Osorio, member of the second generation of the Osorio family, expressed “When you buy our coffee you are supporting an initiative of fair treatment with the workers who are employed in the farm. On average our employees receive a salary that is 46% higher than that normally paid in the farms of the region or in the coffee sector.” Moreover, the farm is managed based on the application of traditional and novel agronomic practices, introduced by Omar Osorio and uphold by the second generation. One of the key goals of […]

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Beyond Convention: Rethinking Qualitative Research in Family Business

November 16, 2020

Qualitative research embraces a range of paradigmatic lenses, methods, means of inference and theorizing styles. Despite its promising diversity, Family Business (FB) scholarship has mainly followed the convention of inductive exploration. While conventions are important for legitimizing academic discourses, they are also meant to be problematized so as to help FB researchers capture changing phenomena and drive the field forward. The purpose of this seminar is to question the disciplinary convention and offer alternatives on qualitative research in FB scholarship. DATE: November 26, 2020 TIME: 4.00 PM (CET) Watch the webinar:    

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GET to KNOW our LATAM Chapter

October 30, 2020

Ricardo Aparicio Castillo This series of interviews is meant to introduce our IFERA Latam Chapter committee, devoted to the advancement of Family Business Research in Latin America Ricardo Aparicio Castillo is head and professor of the Organization Behavior and Business-Family departments at IPADE. He is also director of the “Centro de Investigación para Familias de Empresarios | BBVA” of IPADE since 2009. He is a consultant in Family Businesses, Human Behavior and Organizational Culture; a visiting professor at INALDE Business School, Colombia and ISE Business School, Brazil; a member of the International Family Research Academy (IFERA) and a member of the Council of the LATAM Chapter. He is coordinator of the book ” Ser y Hacer de las Familias Empresarias ” and author of four of its chapters. He is also author of various cases and technical notes on Family Businesses and Human Behaviour. Es director y profesor de las áreas de Factor Humano y Empresa-Familia del IPADE. Es también director del Centro de Investigación para Familias de Empresarios | BBVA del IPADE desde 2009. Es además consultor en Empresas Familiares, Comportamiento Humano y Cultura Organizacional. Profesor invitado en INALDE Business School, Colombia e ISE Business School, Brasil. Miembro del International Family Research Academy (IFERA) y Miembro del Consejo del Capítulo de LATAM. Coordinador del libro “Ser y Hacer de las Familias Empresarias” y autor en cuatro de sus capítulos. México, LID. Autor de diversos casos y notas técnicas sobre Empresas Familiares y Factor Humano. How long have you been a member of IFERA? ¿Cuándo se unió como miembro a IFERA? I have been with IFERA for 7 years, since 2013. Desde 2013. How many annual conferences have you attended so far? ¿A cuántas conferencias anuales asistió hasta ahora • St Gallen, 2013 • Mexico, 2015 (Regional Forum) I was the Regional Forum Host Chair. I had the opportunity and privilege to organize the regional forum, in collaboration with Sanjay Goel and Ranjan Karri. It was a very interesting experience that allowed me to meet many IFERA members and contribute to spread different investigations carried out in Mexico and Latin America. We had the privilege of having three fellow members participating on that occasion: Miguel Ángel Gallo, Guillermo Perkins and Salvatore Tomaselli. Tuve la oportunidad y el privilegio de organizar el foro regional, en colaboración con Sanjay Goel y Ranjan Karri. Fue una experiencia muy interesante que me permitió conocer a muchos miembros de IFERA y contribuir para dar a conocer distintas investigaciones llevadas a cabo en México y Latinoamérica. Tuvimos el privilegio de contar en esa ocasión con la participación de tres fellow members: Miguel Ángel Gallo, Guillermo Perkins y Salvatore Tomaselli. • Bogota, 2016 • Zwolle, 2018 • Bergamo, 2019 Based on your knowledge, what would you say about conducting research in México? Con base en sus conocimientos, ¿qué diría sobre la realización de investigaciones en México? We have many opportunities to apply theories already developed and see how these phenomena behave in Mexico. We also need to build databases to be able to develop basic research. Tenemos muchas oportunidades para aplicar teorías ya desarrolladas y ver como […]

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FB in times of crisis: Gimnasio Fontana, Colombia

September 25, 2020

As part of the IFERA series on “Family Businesses in Times of Crisis”, we are pleased to share with you the interview of María Piedad López-Vergara, Assistant Professor and Director of INALDE Family Business Research Center at INALDE Business School, Colombia, with Natalia Zuleta, second generation member and Marketing and Innovation Director of Gimnasio Fontana  ENGLISH AND SPANISH LANGUAGE Gimnasio Fontana is a private school in Bogotá, Colombia. It has been thirty-six years in the educational market in which it is known for having developed its own pedagogical model. It was founded by two educators, Amparo Triana and Dario Zuleta who actually perform leadership positions in the school together with their daughters Catalina and Natalia. The school has managed to consolidate a learning system based upon three main pillars: creativity, sustainability, and happiness known as “What if?Ò Creative thinking” and it has been recently awarded as “Great Place to Study in Latin America”. Gimnasio Fontana is also renowned for its unique campus and premises designed by one of the most awarded Colombian arquitect and it is listed as cultural heritage of Colombia. The school is the first neutral carbon accredited institution in Colombia as well as a pioneer in implementing circular economy. Currently the second generation is working on the implementation of What if?Ò as a learning system outside the school aiming for the public and private educational sector.  The school is accredited by Council of International Schools.  The COVID-19 pandemic had a ripple effect on the world economies and societies. How have the family and the business been particularly impacted? Gimnasio Fontana has faced many challenges in this new context.  I think that we have discovered new ways of doing things. In a certain way we were already going through an innovation process for our last grades in order to offer a more flexible curriculum that fostered entrepreneurship and that is more connected with our seniors’ interests in the fields of creativity and sustainability. This particular reality of Covid 19 has accelerated the process. At the same time, we had to reorganize teams, strengthen technological platforms and be more conscious of the teachers’ role as facilitators.  Financially, it has also been very challenging because many families have lost their jobs, and this had an impact on fees’ payment collection. We have reviewed our financial and investment strategy for the next years, as education will suffer radical transformations due to radical societal developments and a change of focus and priorities is required. In regard to our family, I think that this situation has been a great opportunity to highlight and put into practice our values such as unity, creativity, perseverance and love. Uncertainty has allowed us to recognize that these values are our real foundations and that we are able to put them into practice in challenging moments. Having worked on our compass, defining our mission and vision as a business family, has facilitated the decision-making processes thanks to a more strategic vision.  How did these changes translate into initiatives (or strategies)?  We have structured our pedagogical model in a more systemic and rigorous way. We have also worked on […]

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FB in Times of Crisis: Jacto Group, Brazil

August 28, 2020

As part of the IFERA series on “Family Businesses in Times of Crisis”, we are pleased to share with you the interview of Rania Labaki, associate professor and director of EDHEC Family Business Centre, with Alessandra Nishimura, third generation member of the shareholders council and head of family governance of Jacto Group. With a history that started in 1948 in Brazil, Jacto is currently present in more than 100 countries. Its activities cover logistics, health care, industrial cleaning, polymer processing, manufacturing high-technology agricultural equipment and machinery, portable manual and battery-operated equipment, and innovative solutions for precision agriculture.   The COVID-19 pandemic had a ripple effect on the world economies and societies. How has the family business been particularly impacted? In Brazil, our businesses have first shot down in March for around two weeks. As we operate in the “essentials” industries, such as food, logistics and health, our businesses re-opened while facing the challenge of ensuring safety conditions for our employees. We operate in different States in Brazil and in other countries such as Argentina and Thailand and we have commercial offices in the US and Mexico. So, when the Covid-19 hit we had to think both locally and globally. We had to adapt the measures depending on the evolution of the pandemic in each location. At the same time, while we know of some industries hugely impacted by the crisis, our health and Agri businesses were impacted to a lesser extent and in some cases flourished with an increasing demand. So, our focus was really to decrease the impact of the crisis as much as possible on our employees. In addition, a past economic crisis taught us the advantages of being debt-free: “We don’t take money to grow; we grow with what we have”. This certainly makes it easier for us to go through the current crisis. On the family side, we have also learned about the importance of a united family. This crisis reiterated that and had a positive impact on the frequency and quality of interactions among and across generations. How did these changes translate into initiatives or strategies? Dealing with the unknown is the hardest thing. Usually, we take decisions based on information that is reliable. We first investigated how companies in other countries were handling the crisis. As shareholders, we have put together a crisis committee that met on a weekly basis, then bi-monthly. Our priority was to provide support to employees and to ensure their safety rather than the continuity of the activities. We started even to consider these questions prior to the lockdown. During the two weeks in lockdown, we created many videos and manual guides and banners for the factories to share information that we trust. These included explanations on the steps to follow starting from the time the employee leaves home until reaching the workplace and the behaviors to follow at work. All the material was translated in the country’s language and disseminated through our social media platforms. We also did polls to check whether our employees would feel safe to come to work, by measuring their emotional level. If they were […]

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