Morten Bennedsen, The André and Rosalie Hoffmann Chaired Professor of Family Enterprise at INSEAD

There were no sweet goodbyes when Britain lost Cadbury to U.S. food giant Kraft. How did the once family-owned firm run on strict Quaker values fall victim to globalisation?

Threatened by a sudden and hostile takeover, the Hermès family sought strength in unity and formed an elaborate defence to ensure the 130-year-old company remained under family control.

Family businesses have to align their values and expectations with the external hires they bring in to help manage their companies. Incoming executives should also have the freedom to run with their own ideas.

  • It’s twice the price of store brand coffee, but aficionados happily pay it. What makes a niche brand of coffee so sustainable? INSEAD Knowledge meets CEO of illycaffè, Andrea Illy, to find out more about this business model with a difference.

  • Family-owned companies need to be run with emotional, as well as professional leadership, experts say. That’s one area where senior family members often have a crucial role to play.

  • INSEAD Professor Randel Carlock talks to Knowledge editor Stuart Pallister about succession and stewardship in family businesses.

  • INSEAD alum Fabian Hansmann (MBA '06D) has taken a novel approach to entrepreneurship. His organisation identifies opportunities and builds a team, but then matches business ideas and opportunities with aspiring entrepreneurs and also tries...

  • Family-owned businesses have been hit by the economic downturn like many others. But while they have suffered along with everyone else, they are able to leverage an inherent competitive advantage to ensure they survive and prosper despite the poor...