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FBE 545 Family Business and the Global Economy (3 credits) (Gateway Course)

The family form of enterprise is the dominant business structure throughout the globe. Companies like Wal-Mart, Ford, Cargill, CEMEX, IKEA, and Samsung exemplify the size and scope of the most successful family firms in the world. Research indicates that in many of the world’s most productive economies, families control up to 90% of the businesses, contribute more than 50% of the gross domestic product and generate 80% of the new jobs. At the same time, research indicates that in some economies, family businesses hinder economic development. This course explores the family form of enterprise as a unique economic entity, and investigates the economic, political and social impact of family businesses across the globe. As an overview course, it provides students with an introduction to the micro-economics of entrepreneurial behavior within family business systems, while focusing on the macro-economic impact of family firms within the context of many of the world’s economies. Students will have the opportunity to interact professionally with families through cases and presentations.