Succession and Family Structure: Untangling Legacies Through Genogram Research


The family business Töpfer & Schumacher is a transport company that has existed for three generations. With the sudden death of a managing director, the company is faced with managing the succession into the fourth generation earlier than expected. As family structure influences succession within business families like Töpfer & Schumacher, it presents specific challenges for the succession. This includes, among other things, issues such as integrating generations into operational management or solving the principle of equal rights within the ownership structure. By following a genogram analysis approach, the Töpfer & Schumacher case examines how the business influences family decisions and how family structure relates to the business.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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