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GSBGEN 334: Family Business

Believe it or not, the "Silicon Valley model" has little or nothing to do with most businesses. Most businesses are not started by MBAs; most startups are not funded by VCs; most employees don't work for tech firms; and most businesses don't sell out to other businesses or go public. Rather, the vast majority of businesses world-wide are started, funded, and owned by families, and these firms create most of the employment in the global economy. Despite the prominence of family firms, teaching and research have traditionally focused on analyzing the widely-held or Silicon Valley model of the firm. This course explores the challenges and opportunities faced by family businesses. It is taught by Leo Linbeck III, Lecturer since 2005 at the GSB and President and CEO of Aquinas Companies, LLC. This course is an outlier in a world obsessed with tech startups and venture capital; it is a "Minority Report" from the heart of Silicon Valley. The course is intended for four main audiences: (1) Stu more »
Believe it or not, the "Silicon Valley model" has little or nothing to do with most businesses. Most businesses are not started by MBAs; most startups are not funded by VCs; most employees don't work for tech firms; and most businesses don't sell out to other businesses or go public. Rather, the vast majority of businesses world-wide are started, funded, and owned by families, and these firms create most of the employment in the global economy. Despite the prominence of family firms, teaching and research have traditionally focused on analyzing the widely-held or Silicon Valley model of the firm. This course explores the challenges and opportunities faced by family businesses. It is taught by Leo Linbeck III, Lecturer since 2005 at the GSB and President and CEO of Aquinas Companies, LLC. This course is an outlier in a world obsessed with tech startups and venture capital; it is a "Minority Report" from the heart of Silicon Valley. The course is intended for four main audiences: (1) Students whose family owns a business. (2) Students who are considering working for a family firm. (3) Students who are interested in acquiring or consulting with a private firm either directly (search funds, management consultants, etc) or indirectly (private equity, etc). (4) Students who are sick of only learning about cool, sexy startups and the geniuses who get rich from them. The course uses a combination of case studies, guest speakers, lectures, movies, and student presentations to explore the central ideas of the course, which are likely to appear irrelevant to everyone (save the instructor).
Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Linbeck, L. (PI)
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