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  Öffentlicher Vortrag | Public Lecture
 

Mittwoch, 13. Januar 2021

Shifting the Meaning of Firm Ownership: Recent Transformations of Ownership Succession in the German Mittelstand

Isabell Stamm, Technische Universität Berlin

 


 

 
If current reports and forecasts on succession in Germany are to be believed, we are experiencing a wave of succession in the German Mittelstand. This wave is characterized by a shift in both the legitimacy of the targeted subjects and the institutionalized rules of succession. Contrary to the usual stereotypes, until recently the dominant mode of transfer was internal, by family succession, whereas now the majority of company owners are considering selling to employees, external private individuals, investors, or other companies. In her presentation, Isabell Stamm focuses on the conditions of this shift in a complex blend of aging owners, progressing individualization, good economic development and low interest rates in recent years, and an expansion of the M+A market towards the SME segment. She lays out the ways in which the understanding of firm ownership and the associated rules of property transfer are shifting. In doing so, she decodes the meaning of firm ownership as an embedded and dynamic link between owning groups and firms, thereby providing a dual perspective on the social structuring and hermeneutics in the process of owning a firm.

 
Isabell Stamm has been head of the “Entrepreneurial Group Dynamics” research group at Technische Universität Berlin since 2017. Previously she has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on a sociological perspective of entrepreneurship, including the particularities of entrepreneurial families, collective engagement in entrepreneurship, and trajectories and variations of entrepreneurial groups. She is the recipient of a Freigeist Fellowship, her work on entrepreneurial legacies has been distinguished with the FBR Best Paper Award, and she has recently received her faculty’s outstanding teaching award. She is speaker of the German Sociological Association (DGS) working group on “The work of the self-employed” and a member of the Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) “Round Table Mittelstand.”

 
Selected Publications
  • Stamm, Isabell. 2020. "Groups Matter: Social Embeddedness of Entrepreneurial Activity." In Handbook of Economic Sociology for the 21st Century: New Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Studies and Developments, edited by Andrea Maurer. Springer Nature, forthcoming.
  • Stamm, Isabell; Allan Discua Cruz, and Ludovic Cailleut. 2019. "Entrepreneurial Groups: Definition, Forms and Historic Change." Historical Social Research 44 (4): 7–41.
  • Barbera, Francesco, Isabell Stamm, and Rocki DeWitt. 2018. "The Development of an Entrepreneurial Legacy: Exploring the Role of Anticipated Futures in Transgenerational Entrepreneurship." Family Business Review 31 (3): 352–78.
  • Stamm, Isabell. 2016. "Coordination Tasks and Modes of Linked Lives in Entrepreneurial Families." Journal of Marriage and Family 78 (4): 939–56.
Recommended preparatory Reading
  • Stamm, Isabell. 2020. "Groups Matter: Social Embeddedness of Entrepreneurial Activity." In Handbook of Economic Sociology for the 21st Century: New Theoretical Approaches, Empirical Studies and Developments, edited by Andrea Maurer. Springer Nature, forthcoming.
 

 
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