Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2018

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Management - (M.S.)


Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Layek Abdel-Malek

Second Advisor

Wenbo Cai

Third Advisor

Alberto Ivo Dormio


Eighty-five percent of Italian companies are run as a family business. They are considered vital for Italian economy. The purpose of this thesis is to study how these companies challenge the global market to understand if the globalization can cause them disadvantages or benefits. The study explains what a family business is and who are the components that can be part of it. Then it focuses on the structure of the firms, how the families run their businesses and organize the tasks between the family members. This thesis considers the strategies of innovation adopted by the family to remain competitive in the national and global industry as opposite to non-family run businesses. Then it examines how the management of these businesses chooses to innovate and preserve tradition, balancing the need of renovation and the processes that helped the firm rise.