Awards for Two Kellogg Family Enterprise Case Studies

January 2015

On January 10, 2015, John L. Ward, Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Co-Director of the Center for Family Enterprises, was recognized for two cases by the University of Vermont's Family Enterprise Case Writing Competition. John worked with Carol Zsolnay, Assistant Director of the Center for Family Enterprises, and Sachin Waikar to develop the cases. The winning cases were featured in the 2015 Family Enterprise Case Competition, which attracted 24 teams from 13 countries.

The first case, How to Motivate the Fifth Generation? Balancing Engagement and Entitlement at Lee Kum Kee, gives students the opportunity to address questions about family business continuity and generational engagement. Lee Kum Kee's fourth-generation owners wanted to ensure that the business and the extended family's close ties would continue beyond their generation, but they were concerned because only two of fourteen fifth-generation family members had joined the business.

Plymouth Tube Company: How to Build Ownership Consensus asks students to consider the role that owners, board members, and managers play in business decisions within multi-generation family enterprises. Plymouth confronted this issue when independent members of its board asked for feedback from family shareholders who were neither in the business nor on the board about a large investment the business was considering. The case raises questions about whether and how family members' input on a business decision should be obtained, presented, and evaluated.

The two cases will become part of the Kellogg Case Collection and sold to educators through Harvard Business Publishing at https://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cbmp/pages/home.