Ongoing projects



Effects of external shocks on resilience in hospitality businesses

The new Corona Virus CoVID-19 poses great challenges for companies worldwide. The tourism industry is particularly affected by government restrictions. These restrictions force entrepreneurs to implement measures to ensure their resilience and remain able to act after the crisis. In Austria and Germany, the tourism industry is the main industry for which short-time work is considered a suitable measure by the employment agencies. The question now is whether it is the main measure that entrepreneurs choose for their company.

The current study aims at examining how the measure of short-time work, the self-perception of the entrepreneurs and their perception of the role of the employees affect the resilience of the companies. An important parameter for the investigation is the size of the company and the distinction between family businesses versus non-family businesses. Recommendations for action are derived and suitable measures are determined to determine how companies can remain resilient to external shocks such as pandemics or other crises.


Socially accepted role models at the top of family businesses

The aim of the study is to illuminate the currently socially accepted role models at the top of family businesses, which influencing factors work and which challenges result from them. In family businesses, the two separate systems, family and business, are closely linked and in constant interaction. In this way, social change processes have a double impact and managers as well as potential successors are asked to adapt to the current change processes. Due to the increasing demand for equality between men and women as well as the demographic change, new challenges for family businesses are emerging.

In general, family businesses seem to better involve women in management positions resulting in the need for an appropriate division of work and family tasks for both, men and women. As the new requirments carry great uncertainties, current role models are missing. 


Scandals in Family Businesses - How entrepreneurial families cope with scandales

The purpose of this study is to analyze the challenges, problems and consequences of a (public) scandal in family businesses. The scandals in family businesses are considered separately from scandals in the entrepreneurial families. The aim of the investigation is to identify different types and patterns of handling and then to evaluate them. The focus is on internal and external communication during and after the crisis or scandal.

As a result, the scientists want to develop operational implications for companies that will help them to better deal with scandals that have become public and protect them from possible company failure due to a scandal. They also want to develop a theoretical explanatory model in order to make a scientific contribution in addition to the practical benefits.

The research project is interdisciplinary representing a connection between the different research areas of economics (business administration, economics), sociology and communication sciences.

Funding authority: Equa Stiftung


Socio-economic sustainability of family businesses in the Tyrolean Tourism: A future model for the early generation Y in the main source market Germany?

The aim of the research project is to survey potential customers of the "early generation Y", who are regarded as wealthy clients. Their needs and values ​​in relation to family businesses are regarded to lead to sustainable product and supply developments in touristic family businesses. This survey should demonstrate comprehensible: which values ​​influence the segment "early generation Y" in travel decisions, which tourism offers the segment "early generation Y" appreciates, and finally  what opportunities and risks touristic family businesses have with the substantial "early generation Y" in the future.

Funding authority: Tourismusforschungszentrum (TFZ)


Commitment and socio-economically sustainable destination development - The role of the destination for strategic employee retention using the example of the family-run Tyrolean hotel industry

The aim of the project is to compile data about the loyalty of employees in tourism to their destination. The project deals primarily with the following central questions: How do employees of the family-run Tyrolean hotel industry assess their own commitment to their place of work, thus the tourist destination, and what can be derived from this for a socially- and economically-sustainable development of the destination and the company?

Funding authority: Tourismusforschungszentrum (TFZ)


Requirements for the risk management in small and medium sized family businesses in Tyrol

The TWF project analyses risk situation and awareness of family businesses in Tyrol. A lack of risk awareness is able to lead to negligence of a firm’s risk management damaging the business performance in the medium run. The mixed method design gathers requirements for risk management of small and medium sized family businesses in Tyrol in order to detect possible negative consequences and to develop prevention strategies.
Funding authority: Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds


Family Businesses and Personnel Strategies of the Future

The aim of the project is to find out conditions under which the communication of family involvement can have a positive or negative impact on the perceived attractiveness of Tyrolean family businesses. In addition, the influence of the potential applicants’ individual differences in this regard will be examined. A special focus is set on the so-called generations Y and Z (born from 1980). In addition to a structured literature analysis, within the project qualitative and quantitative data will be collected, evaluated and interpreted in order to answer the central questions. Finally, recommendations for practice will be derived and made available. In particular, small and medium-sized Tyrolean family businesses will gain valuable information for their future personnel strategies, especially with regard to communicating family influence in employer branding processes. This information can help Tyrolean family businesses to recruit talented and well-educated employees of generations Y and Z on the labor market of the future and thus be prepared for the increasing digitization.
Funding authority: Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds


Succession planning in small family businesses

This research project aims at analyzing strategic succession planning as well as success factors and barriers of succession processes in small family firms in Austria and Hong Kong by means of a qualitative research design. The elaboration of idealistic succession solutions shall raise the awareness of family firms and policy implications for subsidies and funds shall actively support the initializing of succession processes in small family-run businesses.
Project partner: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Funding authority: Eurasia Pacific UniNet


Closed Projects



Strategic positioning – Analysis of strategic options to strengthen the competitiveness of family businesses in tourism in the Tirol

The project aims to assess the status quo of strategic positioning of family-run businesses in Tirolean tourism, to analyze their problems, challenges and strategic options. Based on the challenges of family firms with regard to their stategic positioning, solutions and practical recommendations shall be developed and published in a guideline. This guideline shall help family firms to become sensitive towards strategic planning and provide them with hands-on measures and recommendations to achieve their strategic goals. Thus the overall aim is to contribute to the overall competitiveness of family-run tourism businesses.
Project partner: Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, VTT (Verband der Tiroler Tourismusverbände)
Funding authority: Research Centre Tourism and Recreation

The factor employees in touristic family businesses - a Status Quo analysis of the employee-image using the example of hotel businesses and gastronomy in Tyrol

This project aims at determining the sectoral identity of entrepreneurs and employees working in the hotel business and gastronomy in tourism. In addition, employee-satisfaction and improvement activities are examined. Main question addressed is how stakeholder perceive the image of their sector. Therefore, the sector’s strengths and weaknesses are analysed from the viewpoint of entrepreneurs and employees as well as the leadership principles and satisfaction of the employees in terms of management, payment etc. Thus, the analysis clarifies how stakeholder perceive the sector and identifies the aspects needing actions. In connection with the results, practical implications for family businesses in tourism are proposed.
Project Partner: MCI Tourism Research
Funding authority: Research Centre Tourism and Recreation

Innovation behavior in family businesses

This quantitative study aims to investigate the innovation behavior of family businesses in Germany and Austria. Besides the main focus on innovation, different other areas such as strategic orientation, market orientation and organizational structure are of interest and should help to evaluate the innovation behavior in family businesses.
Project partner: Research Lab - sme.innovation.networks (MCI Management Center Innsbruck)
Project Partner: Wirtschaftskammer Tirol

Innovation behavior of SME family businesses in the context of business succession

Following a qualitative research strategy, we explore the innovation behavior of family-owned and family-managed carpentry companies in the context of succession. We focus on the question which measures can be taken in order to guarantee for the entrepreneurial innovativeness beyond the transfer and to establish a systematic innovation approach. Our main interest concentrates on the structural coupling of family and firm and their respective impact on the innovativeness in succession. The project aims at giving additional guidance for process-oriented consulting and support.
Funding authority: Tiroler Wissenschaftsfonds

Digitalization and social media in family businesses

The purpose of this research is to explore the use and adoption of digital and social media in family businesses in Europe and East Asia, and to reveal differences and barriers in the usage of tools and technology in family-run firms. A systematic discussion of digital media in family firms shall raise awareness of the topic in the Tirolean economy and thus contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of Tirolean family firms.
Project partner: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Funding authority: Eurasia Pacific UniNet

Business succession in family firms in the Tirol

The project studies the business succession of family firms in the Tirol, including the challenges and problems family firms face during the succession process. Based on the study results, practical solutions and recommendations for family firms will be presented. The elaborated recommendations shall sensitize family firms regarding the needfulness to plan their succession and present measures to conduct family business succession.
Funding authority: Research Centre Tourism and Recreation

Status quo of family businesses in the Tirol

The project undertakes a status quo analysis of current challenges of family businesses in the Tirol across all industries. The following issues are treated with priority: key success factors of family businesses, succession planning, innovativeness, leadership, digitalization and social media.

Employer branding of family businesses

The project studies employer branding of family businesses. Students, who are the employees of tomorrow, are interviewed about the value propositions that make a business an attractive employer.

*Confidential data will be protected.

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