The case is suitable for upper level undergraduate business and MBA students.
FOTILE, one of the fam ily businesses in Zhejiang, Ch ina, has now become the leading brand in the Ch ina kitchen appliance industry and has successfully entered into the global market. It has gone from a traditional family business in the 1980s to a modern enterprise because of the successful transformation from the first generation (Father: Lixiang Mao) to the second generation (Son: Zhongqun Mao) and the blending of a family business with the modern enterprise system. They both have strong beliefs that family businesses have their own advantages, but they have different ways and strategies of running the business. The case describes the process of how the father and his son worked together designing the strategies to successfully grow FOTILE.
Expected learning outcomes
The case is a vehicle for exploring strategies to operate a family business, to successfully develop a sustainability model, to manage a growing company through its entrepreneurial stage, and to merge western business culture with Chinese Confucian culture. It should help students to: explore strategies of managing/leading a family business and transferring successfully the business from one generation to the next; understand the importance of marketing, focusing on overall strategy and sustainability; know how to identify market opportunities, exhibit start-up intent, perform start-up planning, mission development, and feasibility analysis, and acquiring initial resources; and appreciate the close link between culture and strategy.
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The authors thank Gong Chen, Fan Bin, Liu Xiaoya from FOTILE, the MBA students at Springfield College and to Robert Lussier ScD for their review of this case.
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