Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 1am

EDHEC Business School Launches Family Business EMBA: MBA News

EDHEC Business School Launches Family Business EMBA: MBA News main image

EDHEC Business School, currently among the top 40 business schools in Europe, according to the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2013/2014, will launch a new executive MBA degree focusing on family business in February 2015.

It’s certainly a market that has potential. Estimates suggest that as many as 70% of all businesses are family run, accounting for 60% of non-government GDP and that 50% of private sector jobs are categorized within the family business category. In addition, just over a third of Fortune 500 firms are family-controlled. Indeed, the Financial Times holds that there are surprisingly few recognized business education qualifications available to family business members, given the sector’s size.  

Christine Clarke, academic dean at European University’s Barcelona campus, explains why family businesses deserve a focus at MBA-level. “Traditionally [an MBA degree] focuses on ‘big business’ but [due to widespread candidate enrolment] statistics indicate that a substantial percentage of MBA students will be involved in family business management and will therefore need the tools to do this effectively.”

Indeed, EDHEC Business School’s new offering, the family business global executive MBA, is intended to allow an MBA graduate to attain in-depth, detailed knowledge of family business.

Professor Sylvain Daudel, director of the EDHEC Business School’s Family Business Center, wants to draw attention to a ‘pressing need’ for family business education, as companies established in Europe’s ‘golden era’ of the 1960’s are increasingly having to face up to complicated challenges, such as ownership transfer. With this launch, EDHEC is aiming to carve out a niche by specifically targeting aspiring MBAs whose subsequent careers will see them move into family businesses.

How can an executive MBA degree in family business help?

Any MBA degree that takes family business management as a focus will aim to marry the traditional management skillset with an understanding of challenges that are unique to family businesses, which, according to Clarke, will allow, “candidates to explore and analyze business continuity challenges and best management, family, and governance practices for family-owned businesses.”

The success and failure rates of businesses, as well as the reasoning behind them, are analyzed, alongside issues of succession, governance and financing. It all represents a bid to make students see how to turn challenges into strengths “Family businesses are characterized by challenges that threaten their continuity, but managed effectively they are able to develop distinct core competencies that can result in unique competitive advantages,” explains Clarke.

EDHEC Business School, with three campuses in France, is looking for a nine-week commitment for on-campus time in its new executive MBA degree, of which two weeks will be allocated to its Singapore campus and one in London.

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