‘Gracefully Accepting Parental Criticism’ Can Now Be Part Of Your MBA


Because it’s just so much harder to inherit a fully-functioning operation than to start one from scratch, and because a top-flight business school knows a lucrative opportunity when it sees one, you can now receive academic qualification in the art and science of taking over the family business. Courses available include: Fraternal Conflict Resolution, Social Dynamics of Filial Employment Relations, Keeping Daddy Happy (While Keeping Yourself Sane), Swallowing Your Pride and Easing the Old Man Out.

When second- and third-generation managers take over the family business, they often face more complex issues than their parents once did. Owners like Mr. Perrino are now fueling a rising demand among business schools for programs that cater to their specific needs in areas such as succession planning, asset management and communication.

Columbia Business School in 2012 brought in an executive-in-residence and added a course on family enterprises and wealth; enrollment in the course nearly doubled to 47 students last year, according to the school. The University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School has also seen rising demand for its two courses on family business, officials say. Next year, Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management plans to open a family-business program offering coursework and a speaker series for students and executives….

Loyola caps its two classes for business owners and employees at 12 people per 18-month class. Waiting lists for the programs, one that teaches family business basics and one that is specifically designed to prepare future leaders, have filled up quickly over the past few years, said Andrew Keyt, director of Loyola's family business center….

"The issues that are related to family-owned businesses can be so unique, complex, and multidisciplinary that I can't imagine getting an M.B.A. without being exposed to them," said Patricia Angus, a family wealth consultant who teaches the course on family enterprises at Columbia Business School.

B-Schools Take On the Family Business [WSJ]


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