COMMGMT 7004 - Advising Family Enterprise

North Terrace Campus - Trimester 2 - 2018

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the nature, purpose, and the practice of advising family businesses. This course focuses on the additional skills and practices that advisors require in order to be effective in addressing the unique issues family business clients encounter.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 7004
    Course Advising Family Enterprise
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive: 36 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assessment Individual assignments, quiz
    Course Staff
    This course will be delivered by Prof. Dennis Jaffe.

    For over 40 years, Dr. Dennis Jaffe has been one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. As both an
    organizational consultant and clinical psychologist, he helps multi-generational families to develop governance practices that build the
    capability of next generation leadership and ensure ongoing capability of financial organizations and family offices to serve their family clients.

    Dennis’s work with families helps inform his training of financial advisors and wealth managers about the knowledge and skills needed to serve their client families. He is an acclaimed speaker and workshop leader in programs for business families and financial service firms.  For 35 years, Dennis was professor of Organizational Systems and Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, where he is now professor emeritus. He received his B.A. in Philosophy, M.A. in Management and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University.

    ​He is the creator of several widely-used tools to help families learn about themselves and constructively grow across generations. The Values Edge, uses a deck of cards to help individuals and families create personal and organizational values pyramids. The on-line Family
    Enterprise Assessment Tool, enables multi-generational business families to understand the current status of their family dynamics and enterprise, and explore their areas of difference.​
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course is offered at the University of Adelaide campus and is delivered using a blended learning approach.

    Specifically, this course is delivered through a combination on online activities (webinars, discussion board) with face-to-face intensive classes (3 day back-to-back intensive 9am-4pm).
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Legal, financial, business and psychological advisors are all called upon to understand and help with the challenges facing a family moving through generations with a family enterprise or other forms of shared assets. To succeed as a business and as a family, such
    families need special help to understand and work effectively. While each professional discipline works in its own way, an advisor also must understand the broad nature of this complex family/business/financial enterprise, and work with some special challenges arising from the combination of family and business systems and the differences between a family and a business. Many advisors find that they cannot be helpful, or that their suggestions fall flat due to the consequences of family dynamics that undermine their work.

    This course offers advisors a foundation for working with such complex entities, and some tools and practices for engaging and helping such a family. The skills gained in this course will expand the professional skills of an advisor to make a difference to the family and assist them in achieving their economic and non-economic wealth objectives.

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1. Describe the complex nature of advising business families compared to other types of clients and explain why (and in what ways) advisors may need to adapt their role, acquire new skills and/or work with other advisors as a team to assist such clients to achieve their economic and non-economic wealth objectives;
    2. Assess family dynamics, their effects and potential challenges for the family enterprise, and be able to organize and chair family meetings to facilitate communication, understanding and discussion / resolution of such issues in conjunction with other relevant advisors;
    3. Design a consulting project plan that addresses all the components of advising business families (contract and terms of reference, diagnosis, action planning, implementation and completion / review).

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 3
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Given the nature of this course, there is no single text which is suitable.

    As a consequence, this course uses a range or readings from a variety of resources (chapters from relevent textbooks, academic and practitioners articles). These are made available through the course's MyUni webpage.
    Recommended Resources
    The following texts are great resources for advisors to business families:

    • Carlock, R. S., & Ward, J. L. (2010), When family businesses are best, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Hilburt-Davis, J. and Dyer, W.G. (2002), Consulting to Family Businesses, Wiley.
    • Poza, E. J., & Daughtery, M. S. (2014). Family Business. South-Western Cengage Learning.
    • Smith, N. (2017), Advising the Family-Owned Business, Briston: LexisNexis. (particularly for Accountants and Lawyers)

    Online Learning
    This course is delivered using a belended-learning approach. As a consequence, some of the activities and tasks will be undertaken online. This includes postings to the course's online discussion board, accessing the course materials (slides, notes and assignments) via the course website, and participation in online webinars (when scheduled / required).
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered at the University of Adelaide campus and is delivered using a blended learning approach. Specifically, this course is delivered through a combination on online activities (webinars, discussion board) with face-to-face intensive classes (3 day back-to-back intensive 9am-4pm).

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The university expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 4 courses in a study peiod) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their
    studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 12 hours of study per week which may consisit of time spent undertaking required reading, participating in the online discussion board, undertaking prescribed exercises and assessment tasks, and attending face-to-face classes and / or webinars.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Module Topic
    1 Advising 101 and Advising Business Families
    • Special Nature of Family Enterprise Advisor Roles
      • Activity: Defining your role with a client
    • General Competencies Needed by Family Advisors
      • Assessing your competences
      • Case Discussion: Bull in a China Shop
    2 Family Dynamics: Psychology of Money and Wealth

    • Genograms: Understanding the Family System
      • Activity: Drawing your genogram
    • Meaning of Wealth
      • Activity: Money messages
    • Developing “Capital” for the Family Bank
      • Assessing family capital
    3 Assessing the Family Enterprise System

    • Entry to the Family as a Trusted Advisor      
    • Family Assessment Interviews 
      • Activity: Initial interview practice·       
    • Areas of Assessment·       
    • Two Axis Model 
      • Activity: Placing your clients on the 2-axis continuum
      • Activity: Presenting to a family
    4 The Family Consulting Engagement·   

    • Phases of a Consulting Engagemento  
      • Case: The Aldersons—Becoming a Financial Family·       
    • Conducting Family Meetings 
      • Activity: Setting up a family meeting
    • Family Work Sessions
    5 Communication: Resolving Family Conflict·  

    • Building Family Communication·       
    • Stages of Effective Communicationo  
      • Activity: Sending a clear message about concerns
    • Conflict Resolution: Having Difficult Conversations
      • Activity: Setting up a conflict resolution conversation
    6 Current Issues and Case Studies

    • Cesaroni, F. M., & Sentuti, A. (2017). Family business succession and external advisors: the relevance of ‘soft’issues. Small Enterprise Research, 24(2), 167-188. 
    • Houshmand, M., Seidel, M. D. L., & Ma, D. G. (2017). The Impact of Adolescent Work in Family Business on Child–Parent Relationships and Psychological Well-Being. Family Business Review, 30(3), 242-261.
    • Strike, V. M., Michel, A., & Kammerlander, N. (2017). Unpacking the Black Box of Family Business Advising: Insights From Psychology. Family Business Review, 0894486517735169.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Participation Formative 10% LO1, LO2
    Exercises Formative 30% LO1, LO2, LO3
    Case study Assignment Formative 30% LO1, LO2, LO3
    Personal Learning Plan Summative 30% LO1, LO2
    Assessment Detail

    Participation (10%)
    In order to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and prescribed readings and encourage peer-to-peer learning, 10 percent of assessment will be based on class participation (both to online discussion board and during the face-to-face intensives). When determining participation marks, the course co-ordinator will be taking the following into account:

    • Comes prepared to face-to-face intensive classes;
    • Contributes ideas: adds new ideas, suggests new connections, raises relevant issues;
    • Asks questions of clarification: re concepts, terminology, expectations;
    • Facilitates peer interaction: builds on others’ ideas, provides constructive feedback;
    • Expresses ideas clearly: ideas are understood by others, pace and volume appropriate.

    Exercises (30%)
    During the course, there are a number of exercises that students are required to either submit to the online discussion board for constructive feedback (by course co-ordinator and fellow students) or present in front of class during the face-to-face intensives (e.g role plays). Each of these activies are graded by the course coordinator during the timester. The purpose of these activities is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and prescribed readings and encourage peer-to-peer learning.

    Case study assignment (30%)
    To be undertaken in groups of up to three students and submitted online as a report, the purpose of this assignment is to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate an understanding of the application of the advising process to the family enterprise context. In preparing a report on a 'real-life' case study scenario, students will have opportunities to demonstrate their ability to clarify who is the client, reconcile the family's request with that of the underlying issues, assess the nature of family dynamics and the family's psychology of wealth, clarify their role in the advising process and whether engagement with other advisors is required based on undertaking a two-axis model assessment. Students will also have teh opportunity to outline a plan for the consulting engagement and how they would involve the family in this process.   

    Personal learning plan (30%)The Personal Learning Plan (PLP) provides students with the opportunity to identify what they have learnt from the course and determine how they can incorporate these learnings into their advisory role / practice. The PLP builds on exercises undertaken during the course (e.g. assessing your competencies), and encourages students to articulate the next steps (strategies) required in order the goals they have as an advisor to business families. 

    The Case study assignment and Personal Learning Plan will be submitted electronically using the link provided in the course website.

    Exercises will be either posted to the online discussion board or presented in class.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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