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Institute of Corporate Finance

Research project of the Institute within the framework of the call "High Research Impact" of the JKU Business School

The project "RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR VALUES IN FAMILY FIRM AND MANAGERIAL DECISIONS", set up in cooperation with the Institute of Corporate Finance, is being financially supported within the framework of the Business School's first High Research Impact Call. Prof. Birgit Feldbauer-Durstmüller and Prof. Helmut Pernsteiner are the project leaders. In addition to the two JKU Institutes, Prof. Martin Hiebl from the University of Siegen and Prof. Andreas Hack from the University of Bern are project partners. Dr. Tanja Wolf and Assoc. Univ.-Prof. Stefan Mayr from the Institute of Controlling are project members.

In this project we want to develop a better understanding of the influence of religious (Christian or Muslim) and secular values on family businesses and their management decisions. Management decisions in family businesses are characterised by the emphasis on "socio-emotional wealth", i.e. by distinct non-financial aspects or goals that meet the emotional needs of the owner family. We focus on selected key management decisions, such as involvement in corporate social responsibility, mergers & acquisitions, crisis management and controlling.

It is to be expected that religious and secular values will either weaken or strengthen the influence of socio-emotional wealth on these management decisions. For this purpose, we will draw on interviews with members of owner families from the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) due to their homogeneous cultural background. This project will not only provide insights into the little-researched question of how religion shapes the management decisions of family businesses, but will also enable us to identify configurations of values and management decisions that will enable a more effective management of family businesses.