The research and teaching activities of the endowed chair of the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) focus on management and organizational functions, especially in family businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurial firms.
The overall objective of the WIFU endowed Chair for Human Resource Management and Organization, especially in Family Businesses, is to contribute to the professionalization of the human resource and organizational functions, especially in family businesses, SMEs and entrepreneurial firms.
In many companies – not necessarily in SMEs only – the departments of human resources and organizational development lead a shadowy existence. This is partly due to the elusive interdisciplinarity of these areas, which have to master the balance between psychology (e.g. employee motivation) and economy (e.g. payment systems), and are thus always caught between two stools. Moreover, HR departments enjoy developing into ecological niches which are occupied by the 'do-gooders' of the company (Legge 1995, S. 7). Subsequently, they begin to live their own life leading them further and further away from the original business purpose (Stewart 1996).
Family businesses do not only shape economic matters across the world but also represent the prototype of operating activities. For this reason, the Chair co-operates closely with (international) research institutes and corporate networks in order to better understand the specific characteristics of this pivotal form of business organization and to promote the exchange of knowledge with industry professionals. The Chair follows different theoretical explanatory approaches for the analysis of family businesses and examines particular issues from a qualitative and an empirical perspective.
In our courses the students have the opportunity to deal with various topics concerning human resources management and organizational theory. The following topics are relevant in particular.
The research activities of the Chair focus on further developing the human resources department (or human resource management) into a professional management and advisory function:
Detailed information on research topics, projects and publications of the Chair is available on the WIFU homepage www.wifu.de.
Team of the Chair for Human Resource Management and Organization, especially in Family Businesses (WIFU):