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2022

HR Circle kick-off event "The future of HR work"

The automation of administrative processes in the area of HR work forces those responsible to ask themselves: What will the future tasks of an efficient HR department look like? How can automation offer an opportunity for necessary streamlining in HR or facilitate specialisation in the areas of recruiting, performance management or employee retention in order to ensure the company's success, particularly on the labour market? Why can automation be a suitable means of addressing the question of purpose? Away from HR and towards the People & Culture Department? And what pitfalls lurk when employees regularly contact the HR department less personally and instead use their employee app?

The HR Circle kick-off event on this topic took place on 18 May 2022 at the invitation of Prof. Dr Christina Hoon. The keynote speech by Dr Maximilian Summer on the practical example of concrete planning for automated HR processes and by Jörg Rosenberger on the challenges of sustainable family businesses provided informative input for further discussion in round tables. Thanks to the trusting and science-oriented exchange, open questions and recommendations for action regarding current HR topics were discussed. Due to the positive feedback from participants, the next HR Circle is being planned for autumn 2022.

Workshop "Entrepreneurship without profit orientation? - Economic and legal considerations on so-called "responsible ownership"

The issue of steward-ownership has been the subject of public debate in recent months. The idea of a company with tied assets has found its way into the exploratory paper of the SPD, das Bündnis 90/ die Grünen, and FDP. One of the reasons for this was the draft law for a special form of limited liability company, which was drawn up by an academic working group.

Following on from the current debates, on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, a group of professors and doctoral students met at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF) in Bielefeld for a workshop organised by Prof. Dr Anne Sanders under the title "Entrepreneurship without profit orientation? - Economic and legal considerations on so-called "responsible ownership".

Interdisciplinarity was to characterise the workshop. This is because so-called "steward-ownership" not only occupies the Law, but also raises potential for discussion in economics. The discussion of "steward-ownership" with regard to various economic models formed the first block of the event. In line with the workshop's objectives, the economic part ended with a lively discussion. This was followed by four legal contributions from doctoral students researching the current topic at various German universities. In addition to a legal-historical examination of the ownership of responsibility, the participants dealt with the concepts of human nature in corporate law. In addition, presentations on the much-discussed issue of asset retention and on constitutional issues, in particular with regard to the understanding of ownership in companies with steward-ownership, provided the basis for further exchange of opinions.

The interdisciplinary nature of the event is already evident in the composition of the panellists. Prof Dr Christina Hoon, Prof Dr Kai Bormann and Prof Dr Peter Limbach took on the economic block. The professors involved in the draft legislation, Dr Anne Sanders and Dr Simon Kempny, contributed their legal expertise to the discussion alongside other professors and doctoral students. In view of the positive response from the participants, especially the doctoral students, another workshop is planned for summer 2022.

by Tim Bühring, Shkelqim Berisha and Gina Rabea Rolfes


Handover of the baton: Change of Management Board functions

After six years as Chair of the iFUn, Professor Fred Becker has stepped down. The newly elected iFUn Chair is now Professor Dr Christina Hoon (see also reporting).


2021

HR Circle kick-off event "The future of HR work"

The automation of administrative processes in the area of HR work forces those responsible to ask themselves: What will the future tasks of an efficient HR department look like? How can automation offer an opportunity for necessary streamlining in HR or facilitate specialisation in the areas of recruiting, performance management or employee retention in order to ensure the company's success, particularly on the labour market? Why can automation be a suitable means of addressing the question of purpose? Away from HR and towards the People & Culture Department? And what pitfalls lurk when employees regularly contact the HR department less personally and instead use their employee app?

The HR Circle kick-off event on this topic took place on 18 May 2022 at the invitation of Prof. Dr Christina Hoon. The keynote speech by Dr Maximilian Summer on the practical example of concrete planning for automated HR processes and by Jörg Rosenberger on the challenges of sustainable family businesses provided informative input for further discussion in round tables. Thanks to the trusting and science-oriented exchange, open questions and recommendations for action regarding current HR topics were discussed. Due to the positive feedback from participants, the next HR Circle is being planned for autumn 2022.

Workshop "Entrepreneurship without profit orientation? - Economic and legal considerations on so-called "responsible ownership"

The issue of steward-ownership has been the subject of public debate in recent months. The idea of a company with tied assets has found its way into the exploratory paper of the SPD, BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, and FDP. One of the reasons for this was the draft law for a special form of limited liability company, which was drawn up by an academic working group.

Following on from the current debates, on Tuesday, 26 October 2021, a group of professors and doctoral students met at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZIF) in Bielefeld for a workshop organised by Prof. Dr Anne Sanders under the title "Entrepreneurship without profit orientation? - Economic and legal considerations on so-called "responsible ownership".

Interdisciplinarity was to characterise the workshop. This is because so-called "steward-ownership" not only occupies the Law, but also raises potential for discussion in economics. The discussion of "steward-ownership" with regard to various economic models formed the first block of the event. In line with the workshop's objectives, the economic part ended with a lively discussion. This was followed by four legal contributions from doctoral students researching the current topic at various German universities. In addition to a legal-historical examination of the ownership of responsibility, the participants dealt with the concepts of human nature in corporate law. In addition, presentations on the much-discussed issue of asset retention and on constitutional issues, in particular with regard to the understanding of ownership in companies with steward-ownership, provided the basis for further exchange of opinions.

The interdisciplinary nature of the event is already evident in the composition of the panellists. Prof Dr Christina Hoon, Prof Dr Kai Bormann and Prof Dr Peter Limbach took on the economic block. The professors involved in the draft legislation, Dr Anne Sanders and Dr Simon Kempny, contributed their legal expertise to the discussion alongside other professors and doctoral students. In view of the positive response from the participants, especially the doctoral students, another workshop is planned for summer 2022.

by Tim Bühring, Shkelqim Berisha and Gina Rabea Rolfes


2020

Deutsche Bank is a donor!

The "Institute for Family Businesses" (iFUn) and the "Leadership of Family Businesses" chair have another main donor. Deutsche Bank AG in East Westphalia has been supporting research and teaching for five years since October.

Bielefeld University has been focussing on the special features of family businesses in research and teaching since 2014. Central to this is the "Institute for Family Businesses" (iFUn for short) founded in 2014 and the endowed chair "Management of Family Businesses" (holder: Professor Dr Christina Hoon), which was established in 2015. The foundation, which is set to run for a total of ten years (just under 3.5 million euros), is financed by many East Westphalian companies and institutions. The main donors are: Beckhoff Automation, Goldbeck Stiftung, Hettich Holding, HorstmannGroup, IHK Ostwestfalen zu Bielefeld, Nobilia-Werke J. Stickling, Kannegießer, Melitta Bentz, Stiftung Familienunternehmen, Stiftung der Sparkasse Bielefeld, Schüco International, HLB Dr Stückmann & Partner as well as the Universitätsgesellschaft Bielefeld (with many sub-founders from the region).

Deutsche Bank has now joined as the main donor and will contribute to the iFUn's work financially and in other ways until 2025.

Professor Dr Fred Becker, Chairman of the iFUn: "We are delighted that such a renowned bank is committed to promoting research and teaching in the field of family businesses in this way." The Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Professor Dr Hermann Jahnke, adds: "This is a strong signal of confidence in the work of the iFUn to date."

Martin Wilde, Member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank Bielefeld: "Deutsche Bank feels a close connection to the SME sector, especially in East Westphalia with its many successfully managed family businesses, we maintain an intensive and trusting dialogue. We appreciate the great work of the institute and its endowed chair and are very pleased to be able to support the intensive and diverse cooperation between research, teaching and practice and thus make a contribution to the further development of the region together with other committed sponsors."

The economic region of East Westphalia-Lippe is characterised by many well-known and even more unknown family businesses. They employ a large number of employees and, increasingly, university graduates from the region. The employment relationships are surprisingly long, accompanied by low fluctuation and absenteeism rates on average. "In some areas, running these family businesses is subject to different laws and customs than those of corporations. This is often the secret of their success, but also partly their problem," says Professor Dr Christina Hoon, holder of the Chair of Family Business Management. She adds: "We are keen to research such special features and to communicate them to our students at an early stage in their studies. The Deutsche Bank Foundation helps us to intensify this."

Photo: Norma Langohr (from right: Prof'in Hoon, Marin Wilde, Prof Becker)

Press coverage here.


Prof Dr Anne Sanders again on steward-ownership in the FAZ

Under the title "The great strengths of steward-ownership", Prof Sanders (with three colleagues) once again had the opportunity to make a prominent case for their idea of steward-ownership in the FAZ of 29 November 2020 (online: https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/die-vorteile-des-verantwortungseigentums-17072108.html).


Dr Andreas Hettich joins the iFUn

Dr Andreas Hettich, Chairman of the Advisory Board and main shareholder of the Hettich Group, will be involved from the 2020/21 winter semester both as a Temporary Lecturer and as a researcher on issues relating to the management of family businesses.

"As a co-founder and member of the iFUn Advisory Board, Dr Andreas Hettich has been a great pillar of our work since the very beginning. For around twenty years, he has always actively supported our Faculty's successful efforts to get closer to family businesses in East Westphalia-Lippe. With his many years of experience as a shareholder, managing director and advisory board member, he will become a pillar of our work," says Professor Dr Fred G. Becker, Chairman of the iFUn. "With Mr Hettich, we are gaining a family entrepreneur whose business practice and academic interests make him an ideal addition to our iFUn team," adds Professor Dr Christina Hoon from the endowed chair "Management of Family Businesses".

Dr Andreas Hettich will start as a Temporary Lecturer in November with a practical tutorial (in connection with lecture/seminar) on the internationalisation of family businesses. Using a specific case from Hettich, the students will work intensively under his guidance on the selection of a market, the subsequent market entry strategy and the factors that a family business pays particular attention to. Hettich: "I'm looking forward to working closely with the students and am also very excited to see what ideas they will bring to our existing approaches."

Dr Andreas Hettich has also already embarked on research with a scientific paper on the crisis resilience of family businesses. He is particularly focussing on the potential liquidity dilemma and its central concomitant phenomena (equity capitalisation, amount, stratification and availability of a crisis pot as well as ownership structure). Further projects, mostly in collaboration with Professor Hoon, are already planned: Strategies for crisis resilience of family businesses and StartUps and family businesses.

 

The press coverage can be found under this link.


OWL Management Colloquium 2020

Bielefeld University

The 9th OWL.management colloquium "Trust in (family) businesses" planned for autumn 2020 was cancelled. Various consultants (Jens Beining, Michael Heicks, Dr Andreas Hettich and Dr Dr h. c. Jörg Mittelsten Scheid) wanted to address the levels of trust and their importance for corporate success. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the usual format could not be implemented. A new event is currently planned for autumn 2021.


Corona pandemic: Interviews with Jürgen Eggers and Dr Max Summerer

As part of the master's course "HR management in and before the crisis", which was realised at short notice due to the pandemic, the HR managers of both the Goldbeck and Horstmann groups were interviewed. This was done via a video clip.


Presentation Silke Plettemeier

As part of an HR event organised by Professor Becker in the bachelor course, alumna Silke Plettemeier, intelligence Bielefeld, spoke about her HR work as a recruiter. She also demonstrated the application-orientation of the HR module.


Workshop "Social competence"

- cancelled due to the corona pandemic -

On 27 and 28 March 2020 and on 24 and 25 April 2020, workshops will be held under the title "Shareholder competence" and in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce to support and develop you in your role as a shareholder.

Invitation(flyer)

In the past, it was often said in family businesses: from father to son. That was the "old world". Today, many family businesses no longer have just one shareholder, but many. But not all of them are operationally active: many concentrate on their role as owners. The challenges of the "new world" demand expertise and professionalism from all shareholders. A healthy family business not only has a capable management team. Its foundation is formed by a stable business family and competent shareholders. Only shareholders who are able to assess the legal, tax and economic circumstances of the company will be able to fulfil their role as co-owners in the best interests of the company and their family.

Our invitation is aimed at shareholders who wish to fulfil their important role in the family business competently. We offer you a young, experienced team of speakers who will combine their practical experience with theory and enrich it with experience reports. You are cordially invited to develop your role in the family business together with us and other shareholders in a protected environment.

Prof Dr Christina Hoon, Prof Dr Anne Sanders, Dr Sebastian von Thunen and Ute Horstkötter-Starke


2019

Equity investments for non-family top managers

Dr Max Summerer from Professor Becker's chair received his doctorate with a thesis on "Equity investments as an incentive instrument for non-family top managers". After completing his doctorate/Phd studies, he began his corporate career as an assistant to the management at the Horstmann Group.


Purpose ownership

On 25 November 2019, Prof. Dr Anne Sanders will take part in the founding ceremony at the Kalkscheune in Berlin as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Responsible Ownership Foundation alongside many other personalities from business and politics and will speak on the topic: "Why it is worth thinking about a new legal form for responsible ownership - legal comments". You can find out more about the Purpose Ownership Foundation here.

Professor Sanders is actively involved in the development of a concept for steward-ownership. More details here!

She has also published an exciting FAZ article on the subject together with Professor Hoon.


Pool contracts in the family business

The second public event of the Ostwestfälisch-Lippischer Steuerkreis took place on 27 November 2019. Lawyer Dr Sebastian von Thunen, LL.M., gave a presentation on the topic of "Pool contracts in family businesses". More details here.


Founder's report 2018/ 2019

You can download the donor report for 2018/19 here.


FFU3 in the summer semester 2019

In the summer semester 2019, Master's students on the "FFU3" course (Prof C. Hoon & J. Bövers) learnt about qualitative research. Presentations were prepared to apply the knowledge learnt.


IUUB dialogue: Succession

As part of the IUUB dialogues, three workshops (privatissime) were held in family businesses in 2018/19 on the topic of succession planning. Three different formats were presented by dialogue participants. The series will be continued in 2020.


Speaker Holger Piening

Holger Piening spoke about corporate culture from the Piening Group at the event "Managing family businesses" on 3 June 2019 and discussed it with students from the Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes.


WDR interview on Gerry Weber AG

The formerly owner-managed Gerry Weber AG was taken over by financial investors. WDR conducted an interview with Professor Becker about the consequences of this.


Speaker Peter Semmerling

As part of the lecture "HR II: HR function", Peter Semmerling (owner of Diamant Software; employer no. 1 in Bielefeld) gave a presentation on building and office design with regard to working conditions to an astonished crowd of students.


Practical tutorial (in connection with lecture/seminar) at Miele

As part of an internship at Miele, students of the MA module "PuM" were able to apply their HR knowledge and evaluate various Miele concepts for personnel development. Miele was very pleased with the results. IVesponsible were Marc Sundermann (Miele) and Max Summerer (chair) (seated from right to left).


Master seminar at Schüco

A master's seminar in the summer semester 2019 offered PuM students the opportunity to work on challenging and current HR topics (empirical and theoretical/abstract) at Schüco. The results were presented in front of a large number of HR managers. Mrs Poeschel from Schüco, Professor Becker and Maximilian Summerer were responsible for the presentation.


Best Paper Award of the EQUA Foundation

Award ceremony at FIFU 2019 - the team from Professor Hoon's endowed chair wins the EQUA Foundation's Best Paper Award


FIFU 2019

The 9th conference of the German-speaking research centres and institutes for family businesses(FIFU) took place on 11 and 12 March 2019 at Bielefeld University. [more]


Helmut Schippel Prize of the NotRV 2018

On 23 May 2019, Prof. Dr Anne Sanders was awarded the Helmut Schippel Prize of the NotRV 2018. You can find a detailed report here.


New donor to the University Society

With the Oltrogge company, we have gained a new supporter of the iFUn and the University Society. We are looking forward to the co-operation.


Prof Dr Sanders: Appointment as judge at the Hamm Higher Regional Court

On 18 April 2019, Prof. Dr Anne Sanders was appointed as a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Hamm with a lifetime appointment as a judge in her second main office. She will work there in the 27th Civil Senate.


BAMM Research seminar series

The BAMM Research Seminar is a joint doctoral colloquium organised by various chairs at the universities of Bielefeld, Aachen, Mainz and Münster. The 3rd Bamm Research Seminar took place from 4 to 5 April 2019 in Aachen.


iFUn expansion and Management Board

Since the start date of 2019, the iFUn has been an interfaculty institute at Bielefeld University. It is now run by the Faculty of Business Administration and Economics and the Faculty of Law. The iFUn now works on a broader and more problem-orientated basis, both in research and in cooperation with practitioners. Accordingly, a new Executive Board was elected by the faculty conferences. This board has elected an executive director (Prof. Dr Fred G. Becker, also iFUn board chairman) and two deputy directors (Professors Dres. Christina Hoon and Anne Sanders). More details here.


Seminar: Family business law

Dr Sebastian von Thunen, LL.M. (London) (www.vonthunen.de, lawyer with many years of experience in advising family businesses) and Prof Dr Anne Sanders, M. Jur. (Oxford) are offering a seminar on family business law in the summer semester 2019. The preliminary discussion will take place on Tuesday, 8 January 2019 in room V-8-119. The seminar offers the opportunity to acquire a large basic certificate and seminar certificate. In addition, participation is an excellent tutorial (in connection with lecture/seminar) for writing the specialisation paper. Further information can be downloaded.


Speaker Volker Stühmeier

As part of the lecture "Fundamentals of Corporate Management", Mr Volker Stühmeier, member of the Melitta Group's management, gave a very vivid presentation on Melitta's corporate management. As a representative of one of the main founders, he gave the audience a vivid comparison of theory and practice. He also took the opportunity to present the history and development, the long-term strategy of the family-owned company, the wide range of products and new Melitta marketing campaigns.


Inaugural lecture Kempny & Sanders

On 5 April 2019, Professor Dr Simon Kempny, LL.M and Professor Dr Anne Sanders, M.Jur., both members of the Faculty of Law, gave their joint inaugural lecture at the Institute for Family Businesses Ostwestfalen-Lippe (iFUn). [more]


2018

Professor Sanders: winner of the Karl Peter Grotemeyer Teaching Award

The winner of the Karl Peter Grotemeyer Prize in 2018 is Prof Dr Anne Sanders. The Bielefeld University Society has been awarding the prize for outstanding academic achievements and personal commitment to teaching since 1997.


BAMM Research seminar series

The BAMM Research Seminar is a joint doctoral colloquium organised by various chairs at the universities of Bielefeld, Aachen, Mainz and Münster. The 2nd BAMM Research Seminar took place in Mainz from 17 to 18 May 2018.


Foundation of the East Westphalian-Lippe Steering Committee

On 23 November 2018, the Ostwestfälisch-Lippischer Steuerkreis, an association for the promotion of tax law at Bielefeld University, was founded on the initiative of Prof. Dr Simon Kempny, LL.M. (UWE Bristol), the holder of the local Chair of Public Law and Tax Law. More details here.


Speaker Wilhelm A. Böllhoff

On Monday, 25 June 2018, Mr Wilhelm A. Böllhoff (Wilhelm Böllhoff GmbH & Co. KG, Bielefeld) gave a presentation as part of Prof'in Hoon's course UFII: "Management of family businesses".


Speaker Dr Christian Schäferbarthold

On Monday, 18 June 2018, Mr Schäferbarthold (Schäferbarthold GmbH, Minden) gave a presentation as part of Prof'in Hoon's course UFII: "Management of family businesses".


2017

Speaker Dr Stella Ahlers

On Tuesday, 23 May 2017, Dr Stella A. Ahlers (Ahlers AG, Herford) gave a presentation on "The 'think manager - think male' phenomenon: My work as a female CEO" as part of the course UFII: "Management of family businesses by Prof' in ".


BAMM Research seminar series

The BAMM Research Seminar is a joint doctoral colloquium organised by various chairs at the universities of Bielefeld, Aachen, Mainz and Münster. The 1st BAMM Research Seminar took place in Münster from 5 to 6 May 2017.


2016

Speaker Detlef Adler

In January 2016, Detlef Adler (former CEO of the Seidensticker Group) supplemented the content of Prof'in Hoon's Bachelor's and Master's lectures with interesting field reports on the topics of succession and strategic leadership in family businesses.


Practical Tutorial Porta Möbel

Final presentation of the results at Porta Möbel in Porta Westfalica on 8 July 2016.

29 Master's students were able to deal with interesting practical issues as part of Prof'in Hoon's practical tutorial in the 2016 summer semester. Thanks to the great cooperation with the family-owned company Porta Möbel, in particular Mr Kurt Jox (Managing Director) and Ms Catrin Tieben (Head of HR Development), as well as the great enthusiasm of the students, the event was a success for everyone involved.


OWL.MK: Leadership 4.0

The 8th OWL.ManagementKolloquium took place on the topic of Leadership 4.0. You can find more details here.


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