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Institute of Corporate Finance

Research project at the institute as part of the "High Research Impact" call at the JKU Business School

The project "RELIGIOUS AND SECULAR VALUES IN FAMILY FIRM AND MANAGERIAL DECISIONS", organized in cooperation with the Institute of Corporate Finance, is being funded as part 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 (University of Siegen) and Prof. Andreas Hack (University of Bern) are project partners. Dr. Tanja Wolf and Assoc. Univ. Prof. Stefan Mayr at the Institute of Controlling are project members.

This project focuses on developing a better understanding of the influence of religious (Christian or Muslim) and secular values on family-owned businesses and their management decisions. Management decisions as part of family-owned businesses are characterized by emphasizing "socio-emotional wealth",meaning by distinct, non-financial aspects or goals that meet the family's emotional needs. We will focus on selected key management decisions, such as involvement in corporate social responsibility, mergers & acquisitions, crisis management, and controlling.

We expect that religious and secular values will either weaken or strengthen the influence of socio-emotional wealth in regard to these management decisions. We aim to draw on interviews with members of family-owned businesses in the GAS region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) on account of their homogeneous cultural background. The project will not only provide insight into the little-known question as to how religion shapes management decisions in a family-owned business, but will also allow us to identify configurations of values and management decisions that facilitate more effective management decisions at family-owned businesses.