The Institute

The Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU = Wittener Institut für Familienunternehmen) is Germany’s pioneer and guide for academic research and teaching of the specific features of family businesses. The foundations for the consistent interdisciplinary orientation of WIFU were laid when it was founded in 1998, with the installation of three professorships – business management, psychology/sociology, and law. This configuration of disciplines, the scientific mirror image of the very make-up of family businesses, has enabled WIFU to gather technical expertise that is unparalleled in the field of family enterprise. Since 2004, the Institute’s sponsors – an exclusive group of 75 family businesses – have enabled WIFU to act with and on behalf of family businesses. WIFU makes use of these unique European-wide conditions to systematically advance research and teaching of this particular organizational form and to develop innovative approaches for solving related problems. With currently 18 professors, WIFU has been contributing significantly for the last 18 years to the trans-generational sustainability of family businesses.