"Keep the door open for the younger generations"

The Impact Conversations with Roberto Flören and Marta Berent-Braun

March 31 2022

Family businesses are the most powerful type of businesses and are passed on from generation to generation. Roberto Flören, RSM Professor of Family Businesses and Business Transfers and Marta Berent-Braun, Van Lanschot Kempen Professor of Family Businesses and Ownership Dynamics, both affiliated with Nyenrode Business University, grew up in such a family business. Together with hosts Bregje Spijkerman and Jan Anne Amelink, they discussed the prejudices of family businesses, the transfer to younger generations and the dynamics within the businesses. What impact did the COVID-19 crisis have on family businesses and what makes them so powerful? 

Special dynamics

"Family businesses are like any other business, they play active roles in the market, they have customers, suppliers and they also compete with non-family businesses. There is only one difference: there is also a dynamic where family interests, business interests and ownership interests intertwine," says Flören.

In recent years, Flören and Berent-Braun have conducted research in the field of dynamics within family business. They have gained new insights in relation to, for example, management of family businesses, marketing, innovation and dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

Family Business-Panel

At the beginning of the crisis, Nyenrode launched a study together with accountancy, tax and advisory firm RSM. For this purpose, they questioned nearly 100 family businesses about the possible concerns raised by the crisis and about the flexibility and agility of family businesses. A few months later, they sampled this target group again. It showed that family businesses are particularly innovative in times of crisis and that they not only explore new markets but also take time to reflect: “What if I get sick now, will everything be taken care of properly? A question that had many owners concerned”, explains Berent-Braun.  

The Impact Conversations is a podcast series in which you discover the stories behind our reseachers and their work. With hosts Bregje Spijkerman and Jan Anne Amelink, you will dive deeper into practical solutions for real-life challenges.   

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