Family Business Management class available to all undergraduate students spring semester

Family Business Management class available to all undergraduate students spring semester

Family Business Management (ENTR 349) is available to all undergraduate students for spring semester 2008. The course will be held 5:30 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays. The only prerequisite is that students' families must be involved in a business.

Family Business Management explores the challenges and opportunities in family business. Topics include owning and governing family business; analyzing family strengths, differences, and interpersonal dynamics; building a spiritual and ethical base for family relationships; managing family interaction and problem solving; planning career, succession and business strategy; and developing credibility.

The course includes lectures, discussions, case studies and guest speakers. The major assignments include development projects related to organization, participation and succession in your family business. There are no prerequisites except that families must be involved in a business. In addition, parents or other significant family members involved in the business must audit the course and attend at least six class sessions. For classes that family members do not attend, we encourage their involvement through conversations with their students and electronic resources that will be available to them through the Internet.

Students who previously had other family members join them in this course had this to say:

  • "Excellent course. Such a great experience. Would do it all over again."
  • " Great. Really brought out the relationships and experiences I was looking for."

The undergraduate version of Family Business Management was taught spring 2007 using the format of student and family involvement. The course was so successful that an article featuring the format appeared in Fortune Small Business Magazine.

The family business course is designed to promote discussion about the family and the business among family members.

  • If you are considering working in the family business, but not sure, you ought to consider the issues raised in this course.
  • If you plan to join the family business as an owner or employee, you need the knowledge, approaches and plans delivered in this course; you will leave with strategies to promote success in your family business career.

This spring, the course will be taught by Dr. Ritch Sorenson, the new Opus Chair in Family Business. Sorenson is a nationally known expert in family business. He has conducted national surveys, published research and taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in family business. In his classes, Sorenson keeps students contributing, interested and involved. He was recently described as a "mover" in the Pioneer Press.

For more information contact Sorenson, (651) 962-4252.