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Case Studies

The following are a list of family business case studies authored by Professor John L. Ward. Select a case title below to link to more detailed information and case ordering instructions.

Kellogg Case Publications "Family Business" Cases

ATF (forthcoming)
By John L. Ward and Carol Zsolnay

Bata Shoe Organization (A)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief; Joachim Schwass; Ulrich Steger, 2002, Case #: IMD-3-1084
- Case Country: Canada, Industry: Shoes
Ownership structure in G3 company ties hands of family members who want to affect change to save the business, sell or not sell.

Bata Shoe Organization (B)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief; Joachim Schwass; Ulrich Steger, 2002, Case #: IMD-3-1085
- Case Country: Canada, Industry: Shoes
This two-part case study examines the implications of organizational structure and control issues on company management and strategy. Effective corporate governance and its role in efficient operations management is the focus of these cases.

Carvajal SA: Building on a Century of Business Growth and Family Values
By John L. Ward; Ivan Lansberg; Sachin Waikar, 2011, KSM Case #: Internal Use Only

- Case Country: Colombia, Industry: Various

Clemens Family Corporation (A): The Struggle from Family First to Business First
By John L. Ward; Christina N. Goletz, 2004, Case #: 5-104-012(A) (KEL115) [Available in Spanish # 5-104-012SP(A)]
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Meat Packing
G3 owners of a regional business, threatened by national competition, need to make changes to company structure and family business policies to be able to continue in G4. Case A shows how a regional family company, threatened by national competition, needs to make changes to its structure and way of doing business or face extinction or sale

Clemens Family Corporation (B): The Process of Change
By John L. Ward; Christina N. Goletz, 2004, Case #: 5-104-012(B) (KEL116) [Available in Spanish # 5-104-012SP(B)]
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Meat Packing
Case B shows the steps the business takes to make it succeed, including restructuring that involves eliminating long-time family managers and planning for succession.
Clemens Family Corporation (C): Post Transition (August 2001)
By John L. Ward; Christina N. Goletz, 2004, Case #: 5-104-012(C) (KEL117)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Meat Packing
Case C shows post-transition successes and areas that still need work.

Clinton Devon Estates: Since 1299, A Culture of Distinction (A)
By John L. Ward; Joachim Schwass, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1539
- Case Country: England, Industry: Rural Real Estate
What direction should a family take in the future of governance of a large family estate in the family for over 700 years. This two part case series explores the strategic and cultural implications of recognizing a major reconsideration of a multitude of long-held beliefs may be needed to ensure a firm’s survival. The business lines and corporate culture that had served this landed estate so well and for so long had been challenged by radical changes in the operating environment, industry and ownership assumptions. The company needs to look deep inside itself and clarify its purpose and core values. The A case presents the background and colorful history of this unique business, from 1299 to the year 2000, and lays out the challenges and options under consideration by the trustees, family owners and management. Much was at stake for Clinton Devon. To sell the estate lock, stock and barrel, spending the future counting newly-liquid wealth, was not an option congruent with the family’s heritage and philosophy. However, to do nothing meant the estate’s near-certain demise.

Clinton Devon Estates: Since 1299, A Culture of Distinction (B)
By John L. Ward; Joachim Schwass, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1540
- Case Country: England, Industry: Rural Real Estate
How to retool and focus a large enterprise for the future. How to execute and communicate change with stakeholders. Case B reveals the innovative and unexpected steps actually undertaken by this organization and the results that followed.

Clinton Devon Estates: Since 1299, A Culture of Distinction (C)
By John L. Ward; Joachim Schwass, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1543
- Case Country: England, Industry: Rural Real Estate
Culture and Compensation: Considering Performance and Variable Pay at SRF Limited
By John L. Ward, Sachin Waikar, Carol Zsolnay, 2009, KSM Case #: 5-109-004
- Case Country: India, Industry: Industrial Manufacturing
How much advice should a successful FB take from a global consultancy suggesting changes in HR that conflict with their company and family values and traditional approaches.
Destira Case (forthcoming)
By John L. Ward and Carol Zsolnay
Ensuring Family and Business Continuity at India's GMR Group
By John L. Ward, Kavil Ramachandran, Sachin Waikar, Rachna Jha, 2011, Ivey/ISB Case #: 9B11M075
- Case Country: India
Most family businesses do not survive beyond two or three generations. One of the main reasons for the short life span of family businesses is due to the lack of governance mechanisms in the family. With better family governance, business development becomes a more enjoyable journey and ensures continuity of the business across generations. This case is about an Indian family business, GMR Group, which was established a quarter century ago, and by 2010 became one of the major diversified infrastructure organizations in the country with large-scale interests in infrastructure (energy, roads and airports) and manufacturing (agri-business, mainly sugar). Since its founding, the Group has come a long way, from an independent proprietary enterprise to a family-owned holding corporation with several companies under its control, along with external stakeholders. The growth of the group has been led by the entrepreneurial zeal and organizational capabilities of its founder G.M Rao. Having seen many family businesses breaking up for want of adequate governance mechanisms, Rao led the way for the writing of his family’s constitution with the help of several experts. The entire family spent many hours, and after several rounds of iteration created and signed a constitution in 2007. The writing process of the constitution, and the policies and processes developed were optimal for maximizing GMR’s performance and the family’s well-being in current and future generations. The case captures the essential processes and output of writing a family constitution.

EC Family
By John L. Ward, Denise Kenyon-Rouvinez, 2005, Case #: Internal Use Only
- Case Country: Europe, Industry: Holding and Trading
How should a complex group of cousins organize a family council and constitution for the good of their enterprise?

Entrepreneurial Philanthropy: "Be A Non-Conformist"
By John L. Ward, Joachim Schwass, Colleen Lief, 2007, Case #: IMD-3-1743
- Case Country: Mexico, Industry: Philanthropy
Raymundo Leal, a self-made Mexican businessman, turned 50 in 1994. The first 25 years of his life were spent educating himself and getting married. The next 25 were devoted to building a business and raising a family. Would he spend the last part of his life as he had the previous 25 years? Should he continue accumulating money that, according to his lifestyle, he would never use? He asked himself - Is this all there is to life? Would inheriting money be the best legacy he could pass along to his children? Perhaps leaving the leadership of his company and devoting himself to Mexico’s poor with smart, effective charitable giving would be the best use of his time. There were serious ramifications to such radical change. Who would lead the business if he were to devote himself to philanthropy? How would his family react to this shift in priorities and the resulting financial implications? Learning objectives: Identifying an individual path to philanthropy; Family business succession transitions; Exploring philanthropy (or family office or family governance) as a way to maintain family cohesion and direction.
Families Fortunes, and Footwear: Reaching Out to the Fourth Generation of Brazil's Lupo S.A.
By John L. Ward, Sachin Waikar, Carol Zsolnay, 2008, KSM Case #: 5-408-753
[Also Available in Spanish]
- Case Country: Brazil, Industry: Clothes Manufacturing
A successful third-generation family business explores whether or not to continue in business as a family into the fourth generation. If they do decide to move forward as a family business, how can they cultivate knowledge and interest among the forty-plus fourth-generation family members? The reasons behind perpetuating a family business are as important to consider as how to accomplish this goal. This case is designed to provoke students to reflect on their own intentions and motivations for their own family businesses.

Fel-Pro (A): A Five-Generation Winning Workplace
By John L. Ward; Carrie Meek, 2005, Case #: 5-105-001(A) (KEL118)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing
G4 cousins weigh the pros and cons to family owners and company employees of selling their successful family business. A successful, multi-generation manufacturing family business, with progressive human resource policies, weighs the pros and cons to family owners and company employees of selling the business in order to meet the challenge of global competition.

Fel-Pro (B): After the Sale-The Lehman Family Transition
By John L. Ward; Carrie Meek, 2005, Case #: 5-105-001(B) (KEL119)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Family Office
After a family business transition, the family develops a family office for investments, foundations, new ventures. After the sale of their multi-generation family business, a family and business transitions. The family uses the sales contract to maintain its progressive human resource policies. The family organizes a family investment office, establishes foundations, and launches new ventures.

Four Generations of the Owens Family (A)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1492
- Case Country: Australia, Industry: Grocery
G3 business reaches a crisis in management and leadership when the bad relationships of G2 interfere with their business. This case series follows the Richard Owens family through nearly one hundred years of evolution and change. The A-case describes how the family business started with one grocery store in 1906 and, by 1974, had grown into a large private enterprise that included supermarkets, liquor stores and real estate. While competitors could not seem to stop the Owens family business, fractured family relationships and rivalries caused significant problems. In 1974, the conflict came to a head and the firm was split into three, one business line for each sibling.

Four Generations of the Owens Family (B)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1493
- Case Country: Australia, Industry: Grocery
G3 business breaks up and one branch continues as a G1 to G2 family business. How the businesses fared after the firm was split up in 1974 and how each brother managed his company for the future are the subjects of the B case. Efforts by one branch of the family to avoid the kinds of problems that brought about the division of the original family business are outlined. Governance and ownership issues now faced by the next generation are highlighted.
Four Generations of the Owens Family (C)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1494
- Case Country: Australia, Industry: Grocery
G1 to G2 family business develops structures to work in business harmoniously together. Developing and independent board, a family constitution, etc.

Four Generations of the Owens Family (D)
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1569
- Case Country: Australia, Industry: Grocery
Developing a family constitution for a G1 to G2 business.
This four part case series follows the Richard Owens family through nearly one hundred years of evolution and change. The family business started with one grocery store in 1906 and, by 1974, had grown into a large private enterprise that included supermarkets, liquor stores and real estate. While competitors could not seem to stop the Owens family business, fractured family relationships and rivalries caused significant problems. In 1974, the conflict came to a head and the firm was split into three, one business line for each sibling. How the businesses fared and how each brother managed his company for the future are the subjects of the B case. Efforts by one branch of the family to avoid the kinds of problems that brought about the division of the original family business are outlined. Governance and ownership issues now faced by the next generation are highlighted. The C case brings participants up-to-date with the evolution of the Richard Owens family's first constitution and governance policies implemented to help protect the family firm for the future. The D case presents the next step in family and company governance, highlighting the most recent family constitution dated November 2002.

Freedom Communications, Inc.: Family Enterprise or Liquidity?
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2007, KSM Case #: 5-307-504

- Case Country: USA, Industry: Media
A G3 and G4 business, that has failed to allow liquidity and has avoided succession issues, is forced to confront these and decide to sell or not.

Ghost in the Family Business (HBR Case Study and Commentary)
By John L. Ward; Warren D. Miller; Gerry Boschowitz; Rudy Boschowitz; Joe Mattos; Mary Whiteside, 2000, Case #: R00308
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Construction
An aging G1 entrepreneur sets his G2 offspring up in business but the business isn’t going well. What should the consultant advise?

Harilela Empire: An Indian Family Business in Hong Kong
By John L. Ward; Suren Mansinghka; Elyssa Tran; Bhaskar Sambamurthy, 2006, KSM Case #: 5-405-757 (TN Available)
- Case Country: Hong Kong & China, Industry: Hospitality
Six aging G2 leaders of a multi-billion dollar empire who have run the business for decades plan of succession and deal with challenges related to the post-transition governance.

Hilti: Our Culture Journey
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1434
- Case Country: Lichtenstein, Industry: Manufacturing
A G2 business with a strong corporate culture tied to the founder wants to maintain the keys to its success in to the future. From the humble ambitions of two brothers, Hilti AG came a long way to win the 2003 Bertelsmann Prize. Hilti was a world leader in professional construction tools and equipment with sales approximating $2.8 billion, operations in 120 countries and a global workforce of around 15,120 who together shared in an award-winning corporate culture. Culture at Hilti, was inseparable from strategy. So when challenged at several points in their history, the company relied on the strength and underpinnings of its corporate culture to see it through. Now, with new governance changes afoot, Hilti would need to leverage this valuable resource once again.
India's Mewar Dynasty: Upholding 76 Generations of Service and Custodianship (A) (B) (C)
By John L. Ward; Kavil Ramachandran, Rachna Jha, Sachin Waikar, 2011, Ivey/ISB Case #: 9B11M084
- Case Country: India
There are not many families in the world that can claim continuity of existence for over 76 generations in either business or otherwise. Families that manage such a feat tend to have strong roots of values and culture that are in line with the basic principles of trusteeship — to preserve and grow wealth (both material and spiritual) for the benefit of future generations. This case is based on the history of and current challenges faced by such a family, the Mewar dynasty from India.
Keystone (A)
By John L. Ward; Sue Perricelli, 2001, KSM Case #: Internal Use Only
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Publishing and Bottling
G2 to G3 succession when two families each hold 50% of ownership. Family, ownership, governance and management issues surface. Succession decision is worked out among the three G3 successor candidates.
Keystone (B)
By John L. Ward; Sue Perricelli, 2001, KSM Case #: Internal Use Only
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Publishing and Bottling
G2 to G3 succession when two families each hold 50% of ownership. Family, ownership, governance and management issues surface. Succession decision is worked out among the three G3 successor candidates.
Keddeg Company (A): Succession to the Next Generation of a Small Business
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2007, KSM Case #: 5-107-012(A)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing in the Aircraft Aftermarket
A G1 couple, whose business IS their retirement savings, tries to decide whether or not to sell the business to outsiders or to continue the business in the family with two from G2.

Keddeg Company (B): Twenty Months Later
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2007, KSM Case #: 5-107-012(B)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing in the Aircraft Aftermarket
A married couple who have a successful industrial B2B business evaluate whether or not to sell the business to two of their offspring, who are both entrepreneurial MBA graduates. Complicating factors include the fact that the sale price and structure need...

Keddeg Company (C): March-December 2008: From Go-Go Succession to Non-Family Sale
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2010, KSM Case #: 5-107-012(C)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing in the Aircraft Aftermarket
A married couple who have a successful industrial B2B business evaluate whether or not to sell the business to two of their offspring, who are both entrepreneurial MBA graduates. Complicating factors include the fact that the sale price and structure need...

KWS (A): The Roots of Independence
By John L. Ward; Joachim Schwass, Coleen Lief, 2008, Case #: IMD-3-1570
- Case Country: Germany, Industry: Food Production
KWS SAAT AG (KWS) was a leader in sugar beet, corn and cereal seed breeding, operating in 70 countries, employing over 2,700 people and reporting revenues of $724 million in FY 2006/07. It had traveled far from its founding in eastern Germany by two friends in 1856. Through the years, the two families operated the business together and moved through successive generations of hands-on management. The company prided itself on its scientific and innovative prowess. Staying on the cutting edge of the seed breeding business required a consistent and dedicated approach to research. Any short-term curtailment of investment in developing seed varieties that responded to customers’ specific needs regarding climate, pests or other concerns meant falling behind competitors, perhaps irretrievably. The families’ philosophy formed the cornerstone of the firm’s core values. Individual freedom, personal development, independence, confidence and growth were cherished ideas at KWS. Its ability to balance contradiction and reject limits was key to success. Several things came along recently to challenge the company’s approach. Consolidation in the increasingly biotechnology-oriented industry brought major global chemical companies to the industry. Their deep pockets meant that many smaller players were selling out and the field of competitors contracted. The possibility to assure the families’ financial future for generations to come was tempting. At this same time, KWS faced a management issue. The family leader saw retirement on the horizon. Yet, a family successor seemed uncertain. How could the family ensure that their values would continue to guide the firm’s operations, even perhaps in the absence of day-to-day family leadership? This two-part case series explores corporate culture within the context of change, fomenting entrepreneurship and innovation that invigorates, and developing effective strategy for a competitive environment undergoing significant adjustment. Learning objectives: To facilitate discussion of how companies may respond to not only normal, yet relentless stresses but also major events which threaten to derail generations of work; balancing incongruity and dissonance; encouraging entrepreneurial tendencies in staff; examining the role of values in an enterprise; planning for significant transitions in leadership.
KWS (B): In Full Bloom - Independence and Continuity
By John L. Ward; Joachim Schwass, Coleen Lief, 2008, Case #: IMD-3-1571
- Case Country: Germany, Industry: Food Production
KWS SAAT AG (KWS) was a leader in sugar beet, corn and cereal seed breeding, operating in 70 countries, employing over 2,700 people and reporting revenues of $724 million in FY 2006/07. It had traveled far from its founding in eastern Germany by two friends in 1856. Through the years, the two families operated the business together and moved through successive generations of hands-on management. The company prided itself on its scientific and innovative prowess. Staying on the cutting edge of the seed breeding business required a consistent and dedicated approach to research. Any short-term curtailment of investment in developing seed varieties that responded to customers’ specific needs regarding climate, pests or other concerns meant falling behind competitors, perhaps irretrievably. The families’ philosophy formed the cornerstone of the firm’s core values. Individual freedom, personal development, independence, confidence and growth were cherished ideas at KWS. Its ability to balance contradiction and reject limits was key to success. Several things came along recently to challenge the company’s approach. Consolidation in the increasingly biotechnology-oriented industry brought major global chemical companies to the industry. Their deep pockets meant that many smaller players were selling out and the field of competitors contracted. The possibility to assure the families’ financial future for generations to come was tempting. At this same time, KWS faced a management issue. The family leader saw retirement on the horizon. Yet, a family successor seemed uncertain. How could the family ensure that their values would continue to guide the firm’s operations, even perhaps in the absence of day-to-day family leadership? This two-part case series explores corporate culture within the context of change, fomenting entrepreneurship and innovation that invigorates, and developing effective strategy for a competitive environment undergoing significant adjustment. Learning objectives: To facilitate discussion of how companies may respond to not only normal, yet relentless stresses but also major events which threaten to derail generations of work; balancing incongruity and dissonance; encouraging entrepreneurial tendencies in staff; examining the role of values in an enterprise; planning for significant transitions in leadership.
Lee Kum Kee Co. Ltd (A): The Family Recipe
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2006, Case #: IMD-3-1617
- Case Country: Asia/USA, Industry: Food Manufacturing
Four brothers (G4) and their parents (G3) in a 115 year old business need to set up systems to sustain family governance in the next generation. This two-part case series starts with the accidental discovery of an important condiment in Chinese cuisine in 1888. The company, Lee Kum Kee Ltd., was born as a result and over the intervening years grew into a large global enterprise. Case A describes the development of the firm and family from the 1st through 4th generations. Development of a values-based corporate culture, facilitation of entrepreneurship and the ramifications of family/business crises are highlighted.
Lee Kum Kee Co. Ltd (B): Passing Down the Recipe
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2006, Case #: IMD-3-1618
- Case Country: Asia/USA, Industry: Food Manufacturing
Four brothers (G4) put systems in place to educate the next generations of young cousins to be involved in the business. The B-case of this two-part series examines the 5th generation’s interest in and engagement with the company and prospects for the future of family leadership. Establishment of critical governance structures, preparation for periods of non-family management and mechanisms for formal and informal next generation education are key issues.
Magid Glove and Safety Manufacturing
By John L. Ward; Susan Perricelli, 2005, Case #: 5-404-760 (KEL120)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Safety Clothing
How should a relaxed, genial, consensus-focused G2/G3 manufacturing business arrange its succession, management, ownership and governing practices to include up to 17 G3/G4s in the near future?
Based on this multi-generation family business' history, strategy, governance, and market, what does the future hold for the business and the family's involvement in it? Can succession work with co-CEOs?

Malhotra (Video Case, Internal Use Only)
By John L. Ward, K. Ramachandran, 2005, Indian School of Business
- Case Country: India, Industry:
First person account from various generations of family members regarding their family business.

Murugappa Group: Centuries-Old Business Heritage and Tradition
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2004, Case #: 5-104-011 (KEL121)
- Case Country: India, Industry: Holding Company
A successful G5 business separates its ownership role from its operational management role to meet the needs of a more global economy.
A successful five-generation family business group in India separates its ownership role from its operational management role to meet the needs of a more global economy. This includes hiring professional non-family managers of business units and including non-family directors on the corporate board.
Oberman Family and Omeda Communications Inc.
By John L. Ward; Elly Andriopoulou, 2005, KSM Case #: 5-105-003
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Data
Successful and growing G1/G2 business with four G2 sibling owners tries to plan for succession and develop future structures. How should this successful, entrepreneurial family business plan for leadership, ownership, and governance succession to the next generation?
Oracle of Omaha Meets the Visionaries of the Galilee
By John L. Ward, Joachim Schwass, Colleen Lief, 2008, Case #: IMD-3-1744
- Case Country: Israel, Industry: Metalworking
Iscar Metalworking was an Israeli producer of metal working and metal cutting tools for industries requiring precise tolerances. Iscar had grown into a global enterprise with employees and offices throughout the world, though it was founded in 1952 in modest circumstances. The business thrived on innovation, passion and dedication to a client-centered approach. Something appeared on the horizon, however, which could potentially disrupt the hard-developed strategies and prosperity of its winning approach. Iscar was a second generation family firm whose CEO was not a family member. Retirement loomed in the medium-term for the family member chairman and the family was unsure of next generation interest in hands-on management of the company. How best to preserve for the future what two generations had worked so diligently to build and nourish? Management evaluated a broad range of options. But Iscar’s special brand of success was unique and to be protected at all costs. It became evident that the best solution for the company was to evolve into a situation where it could remain operationally independent yet have its future—corporate culture, strategic approach-- assured. It felt like looking for a needle in a haystack but the answer finally appeared. Berkshire Hathaway, run by the famed investor Warren Buffett, appeared to operate in fashion very recognizable to Iscar. Independence, maturity, values-driven management were evident in the way BH did business. This case explores Iscar’s steps toward growth and success, its recognition that both a familiar and a different future must be assured for the long-term and the process and reality of becoming part of the BH dynasty. Learning objectives: To allow participants to consider the role of corporate culture and company “DNA” in the context of a need for significant change. Mergers and acquisitions must be approached carefully and in full understanding of the implicit risks and benefits to a company’s culture and history of a transaction. How important are similar or complementary values and purpose in a strategic combination? The approach of the acquiring firm can build or destroy value in the target. What makes the difference between the two outcomes will be explored.
Plymouth Tube (forthcoming)
By John L. Ward and Carol Zsolnay
Prince Family Boardroom Meeting. (Video Case, Internal Use Only)
By John L. Ward; Lloyd E. Shefsky, 2004, KSM Case #: Pending
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Retail
Observe the interaction of a board meeting of a G2 leader, an in-law, two offspring, and two non-family board members.
Prudence and Audacity: The House of Beretta
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2005, Case #: IMD-3-1495
[Also Available in Spanish]
- Case Country: Italy, Industry: Fire Arms
Family leaders in a multi-centuries old family business recommend major changes to sustain the business while maintaining core competencies and the family’s values. After over four centuries in business, the Beretta family's gun making enterprise stands at an important threshold. The family and its hometown have provided the cultural and philosophical underpinnings that have seen the company through good times and bad. Now, the firm must address a more insidious challenge. How to continue to grow and adapt to new market and competitive situations while retaining the core that brought the company to where it is today. The role of corporate culture is juxtaposed with stability in the face of change, dedication to craftsmanship and the latest technology, close-knit family bonds and an ardor for individualism. The exercise of seemingly contradictory business concepts and approaches is examined.

Creating a Family Business: The Genesis of Rogers Family Enterprise

By John L. Ward; Susan Schwendener; Scott Whitaker

Case Country: USA, Industry: Real Estate/Rehab
Steven Rogers had always thought that someday he would like to own a business with one or both of his daughters. As his eldest daughter, Akilah, finished her final semester at Harvard Business School, she told Rogers that she would like to create with him a Chicago-based real estate venture that included buying, rehabbing and renting homes in the Englewood and South Shore neighborhoods of Chicago.
Rogers quickly realized that his biggest challenge was how to equitably structure the ownership of the business. He gathered advice from family business experts and slowly began to build a plan that would benefit each member of his family. Meanwhile, Akilah assumed responsibilities associated with the business as she finished her final semester at HBS. The case ends with Rogers Family Enterprises owning its first three houses.

Scott Family Enterprises: Defining Fair Process for Cousin Owners (A)
By John L. Ward; Canh Tran, 2004, Case #: 5-204-267(A) (KEL124)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Banking and Ranching
G2 Siblings are transitioning leadership to G3 Cousins. Conflict arises when the agreed upon protocol for board selection is changed by G2 members without input or vote. A large family business in banking and ranching is shifting leadership to the next generation and has developed a protocol to select board members agreed upon by all. When the selection occurs, it is not made in accordance with the protocol and a third generation family member questions why the selection rules were changed by second generation members without input or vote. The case highlights the growing pains of developing fair processes and guidelines for nominating and selecting board members, meeting family expectations, communicating with constituents, and encouraging active roles in governance at the cousin-stage of a family business.
Scott Family Enterprises: Addressing Family Goals and Visions in the Family Enterprise (B)
By John L. Ward; Canh Tran, 2004, Case #: 5-204-267(B) (KEL125)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Banking and Ranching
Spatz Laboratories (A): Generational Transition and Transformation
By John L. Ward; Canh Tran, 2005, KSM Case #. 5-405-755(A)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing, Packaging, Cosmetics
G2 siblings enter their father’s business and make changes, including preparing for future growth that will lead to a viable company with which to make into a family business.
Spatz Laboratories (B): Reorganization and Turnaround
By John L. Ward; Canh Tran, 2005, KSM Case #: 5-405-755(B)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Manufacturing, Packaging, Cosmetics

Star Machining Services
By John L. Ward, 2007, KSM Case #: 5-307-500
[Available in Spanish # 5-307-500SP]
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Fiction
Six G2 siblings with equal ownership conflict depending on their roles as owners or owner/managers.

Succession and Continuity for Johnson Family Enterprises (A)
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2004, Case #: 5-104-013(A) (KEL122) [Available in Spanish # 5-104-013SP(A)]
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Consumer & Industrial Chemicals
G4 leader of large, successful family business engages in succession planning on several fronts —management, governance and ownership. Unique structures are put in place to maximize success for the family and for the business in transition to four in G5 who want roles in the business.
Case A shows the options that exist for a successful transition of leadership from one generation to the next, based on a family's and company's unique history, structures and players.
Succession and Continuity for Johnson Family Enterprises (B)
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2004, Case #: 5-104-013(B) (KEL123) [Available in Spanish # 5-104-013SP(B)]
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Consumer & Industrial Chemicals
Case B shows successful leadership as a fluid, interactive process matching individual desires and potential with strategic business goals and opportunities.
Succession and Continuity for Johnson Family Enterprises (C) (Video Case, Internal Use Only)
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2004, KSM Case #: 5-104-013(C)
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Consumer & Industrial Chemicals

Succession at Wang Laboratories, Inc. (A) (Teaching Note with case)
By John L. Ward, Victoria Medvec, Carol A. Zsolnay, 2005, KSM Case #: Pending
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Computer Manufacturing
Problems in a G1 to G2 transition occur when not all the available information is used to evaluate who is best to lead the company.

Succession at Wang Laboratories, Inc. (B) (Teaching Note with case)
By John L. Ward, Victoria Medvec, Carol A. Zsolnay, 2005, KSM Case #: Pending
- Case Country: USA, Industry: Computer Manufacturing
Technical Note: The Family Constitution: It's the Process That Counts, Not the Content
By John L. Ward.  © 2009 Kellogg Case Collection #7-309-502
This note introduces the importance to family businesses of drafting a family constitution to maintain success and continuity of governance of the family’s enterprises. The process of family members/owners being involved in making the draft provides the most value for the enterprise, more so than the content of the finished product.

Technical Note: Ten Secrets of Successful Business Families
By John L. Ward.  © 2009 Kellogg Case Collection #7-309-500

This technical note is a descriptive list of factors that are present in large, successful, long-term and/or multi-generation family businesses.

Technical Note: Why Bond? The Benefits of Family Ties across Time, Space and Generations
By John L. Ward.  © 2009 Kellogg Case Collection #7-309-501

This technical note contains examples from other fields on the benefits of bonds of families, extended families, and communities for members of multi-generation family businesses.

Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family: Great German Novel or Great Family Business Story?
By John L. Ward; Carol A. Zsolnay, 2005, Case #: 7-404-750 (KEL284)
This case looks at Thomas Mann’s 1901 novel of four generations of a German grain merchant through the lens of family business principles.
Torvald Klaveness Group: From Old Traditions To Future Innovations
By John L. Ward; Colleen Lief, 2002, Case #: IMD-3-1123
- Case Country: Norway, Industry: Shipping
How G2/G3 owners change a divisive G1/G2 succession agreement--that ties shareholding to active management and requires potential successors to compete with each other—to something that is viable to the business and to family harmony. From its beginning in 1947, the Torvald Klaveness Group succeeded in the shipping business through innovation and the vision of one man, Torvald "TK" Klaveness. The company grew and prospered until 1989, when TK handed the reins over to the second generation. His eldest son remained true to his father's principals and business philosophy. As yet another management transition drew closer, the next generation considered changes to the founder's succession plan and the company's strategic approach.
Weston Nurseries Inc. (A)
By John L. Ward; Brian Colton, 2004, KSM Case #: 5-105-002(A)
- Case Country: Norway, Industry: Horticulture
Business board, with three independent directors, must figure out what to do with G3 feuding brother leaders who each own 50% of the company. They must make changes at the top to succeed to G4. Options include hiring a non-family CEO until G4 is ready to lead. Brothers in a multi-generation family business engage in a power struggle and the board must decide on a new leadership strategy.
Weston Nurseries Inc. (B)
By John L. Ward; Brian Colton, 2004, KSM Case #: 5-105-002(B)
- Case Country: Norway, Industry: Horticulture
A non-family board member of a multi-generation family business is tapped as CEO during a leadership crisis.
 

 

©2001 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University