Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee
Center for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (CenSE) - Odisee

Family businesses and crisis

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CenSE researchers: Bart Henssen, Johan Lambrecht, Wouter Broekaert
Duration: May 2015 – September 2019
Financing: FBNet Belgium and the Institute for the Family Business
Partners: CenSE in collaboration with research institutions in Sweden and France 
"What is the impact of the 2008 crisis on family businesses and how have they resisted that severe crisis (differently / better than non-family businesses)?"
A great deal of macroeconomic ink has already flowed over the causes and characteristics of the severe financial and economic crisis of 2008-2009, which is described as the Great Recession. Much less has been published about its impact on businesses and, a fortiori, on family businesses. Moreover, the relatively scarce publications about family businesses and the crisis are all too often based on assumptions and not on solid empirical research material.
If quantitative research into the impact of the crisis has nevertheless been carried out, this usually refers to listed family and non-family companies. So there are two clear gaps in existing research. On the one hand, there is little research into the performance of non-listed family businesses. On the other hand, little has been published about their performance in times of economic crisis.
Expected output
With this research, these two major gaps are filled. Figures show how non-listed family and non-family businesses in our country have weathered the 2009 crisis. In particular, they study how they have performed since 2009. A comparison is made between family and non-family businesses and between family businesses. The analysis within the group of non-listed family businesses complements a third gap in the (family business) literature. For completeness, listed family and non-family businesses are also examined. By separately analyzing unlisted and listed companies, apples and pears are prevented from being compared.
Taking the crisis years as a study period is very valuable because recessions are recurring events with far-reaching consequences.
Center for Sustainable
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