Competition to attract the sons and daughters of family business dynasties to their MBA and similar courses is as keen as ever among the global business schools. Here’s a list of the 25 best schools - and their star professors.
In alphabetical order
Adelaide Business School/University of Adelaide
The Australian business school is the leading centre for family business education and research in the country. It has links to many of the country’s top family businesses, especially with the wine and farm owning family dynasties of Australia.
Star professor: Jill Thomas, co-founder of the Family Business Education and Research Group
Alberta School of Business/University of Alberta
The Canadian business school is the leading centre for family business studies and research in Canada. Its Alberta Business Family Institute is the focal point of its efforts in the sector.
Star professor: Donald Zinyk, professor in family enterprise
Bocconi University/SDA Bocconi
The Milan-based business school has many links with the Italian family business community and is well respected among the global business world. A centre of excellence in family business studies and research.
Star professor: Guido Corbetta, professor of strategic management in family business
CUHK Business School
The Chinese University of Hong Kong set up a family business centre a few years ago and has established a reputation as a leading centre for teaching and research in the sector, particularly in relation to China and Hong Kong.
Star professor: Kevin Au, director of the Center for Family Business
China Europe International Business School/CEIBS
The Shanghai-based business school has been developing a family business program in the last few years, which is centred on its Kaifeng Center for Family Heritage.
Star professor: Jean Lee, professor in leadership and HR, and co-director of CEIBS Centre for Family Heritage
The Lillie-based business school has been educating the French elite of the country’s important family business sector for years. It has a family business centre, which provides the focal point for the school’s efforts in the sector
Star professor: Denis Dauchy, professor of family business strategy
ESADE/University of Barcelona
ESADE is one of Spain’s leading business schools and an acknowledge centre for the study and research of family businesses.
Star professor: Alberto Gimeno, director of the international family business lab
Indian School of Business
The Hyderabad and Mohali-based business school teaches a management programme for family business executives. It has links with many of the companies that make up one of the most vibrant family business sectors in the world.
Star professor: Kavil Ramachandran, executive director of the Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family Enterprise
Harvard Business School/Harvard University
Arguably the world’s best known business school also has an excellent reputation when it comes to the study and research of family businesses. Its families in business courses are some of the the most popular among next generation members of family businesses from around the world.
Star professor: John Davis
Johnson Graduate School of Management/Cornell University
Cornell was elevated recently into the elite of family business schools with a generous grant from philanthropists John and Dyan Smith that create the Smith Family Business Initiative.
Star professor: Daniel Van Der Vliet, executive director at Smith Family Business Initiative
Jönköping International Business School
The Swedish business school is arguably the leading family business study and research centre in Scandinavia. Much of its work is coordinated through its Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO).
Star professor: Mattias Nordqvist, director of the CeFEO
Kellogg School of Management/Northwestern University
The US business school has a centre for family enterprise and has a worldwide reputation for excellence in the family business world.
Star professor: John Ward, professor of family enterprise and co-director of the Center for Family Enterprises
Kennesaw State University/Coles College of Business
The Atlanta-based Kennesaw is well known in the family business studies and research world. That’s largely due to the Cox Family Enterprise Center, which is one of America’s oldest centres for family business studies and research.
Star professor: Joe Astrachan, Wachovia eminent scholar chair of family business and professor of management and entrepreneurship
IE Business School
The Madrid-based business school has strong links with the Spanish business community and produces an annual study on family businesses, which is well respected.
Star professor: Cristina Cruz Serrano, professor of entrepreneurship
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, IMD has been educating the offspring of family business dynasties for years and is widely recognised as one of the best centres for family business expertise in the world. It has a dedicated family business centre and is also involved in the prestigious annual IMD-Lombard Odier Global Family Business Award.
Star professor: Joachim Schwass, professor emeritus of family business and founder of the Global Family Business Center at IMD.
One of the world’s best business schools, INSEAD has also an impressive family business pedigree. Its Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise is well respected and, beyond its educational function, also acts as a centre for promoting the role of family businesses in global economies.
Star professor: Morten Bennedsen, professor of economics and political science, and the André and Rosalie Hoffmann professor of family enterprise
London Business School
The UK’s highest ranked business school, according to the Financial Times, has traditionally been linked to the financial services sector given the predominance it plays in the London economy. But in recent years LBS has made a concerted effort to attract the sons and daughters of family business owners.
Star professor: Nigel Nicholson, professor of organisational behaviour
Saïd Business School/University of Oxford
In recent years Saïd has been developing closer relations with global family businesses and recently teamed up with Harvard Business School and the University of Peking to help and promote family businesses in China.
Star professor: Thomas Noe, professor of management studies
Singapore Management University
The Singapore university has a Business Families Institute and is recognised as the leading centre for family businesses in South-east Asia. It has also established many international connections with family businesses.
Star professor: Annie Koh, director of the Business Families Institute
University of Lancaster
The management school of the UK university is relatively new to the family business sector but is beginning to make a mark in the field. It has a Centre for Family Business, which is involved in teaching and research in the sector.
Star professor: Professor Alfredo De Massis
University of St.Gallen
The Swiss university and business school has a widely respected centre for family business, which focuses on teaching and research into the sector. It has links with many Swiss and international family businesses.
Star professor: Thomas Zellweger, director of the Center for Family Business
University of Vermont/School of Business Administration
A well known centre for family business studies and research, the University of Vermont’s MBA program has much on offer for the next generation of family business leaders.
Star professor: Pramodita Sharma, professor of family business
Wharton/University of Pennsylvania
Must come near to the top when it comes to family business studies and research, Wharton has a long and distinguished link to the family business and wealth communities. It coordinates much of this through its Global Family Alliance group. Particularly good in the area of family offices.
Star professor: Raffi Amit, professor of entrepreneurship and management
Witten-Herdecke University/Witten Institute for Family Business
The Witten Institute for Family Business is the leading centre for family business studies and research in Germany. It has a well established reputation and links with many of the country’s famed family businesses.
Star professor: Tom Rüsen, managing director of the Witten Institute for Family Business
Located in southern Germany near Lake Constance, Zeppelin University is one of the country’s most respected business schools. Its Friedrichshafen Institute for Family Businesses is recognised as a centre for excellence in the study and research into family businesses. The institute has links to many of Germany’s top family enterprises.
Star professor: Hermut Kormann, honorary professor of strategy and governance - family businesses