A collaborative research project between New York University Abu Dhabi and Tharawat Family Business Forum

Global Perspectives on Family Capitalism


We were delighted to announce our inaugural lecture of the Family Business Histories lecture series with guest speaker Prof. Dr. Hartmut Berghoff from University of Göttingen, as part of the ongoing collaboration between New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and Tharawat Family Business Forum.

Family businesses play an important economic role in most countries of the world. Apart from many similarities, there are also significant national and regional differences in terms of corporate and family cultures as well as the institutional environments. This event drew comparisons between the emergence and evolution of family businesses in various parts of the world in their respective socio-economic, cultural and political landscapes.

Based on a recent comparative study on family businesses in Germany and the US since the Industrial Revolution, this talk explored the differences of the two corporate landscapes using a long-term, historical perspective. It analyzed the legal, structural, political and cultural environments that have emerged since the 19th century and continue to influence the strategies of businesses and the families that own them to this day.

The panel discussion covered the historical emergence and development of family businesses in the MENASA region and drew comparisons with their western counterparts. The aim of the discussion was twofold: to highlight the existing research gaps in this aspect of economic history research in MENASA and to shed light on the importance of filling said gaps.



Family Business Histories in the MENASA Region

Farida El-Agamy, Tharawat Family Business Forum

Martin Klimke, NYUAD 


Varieties of Family Capitalism. Germany and the US since Industrialization

Hartmut Berghoff, University of Göttingen

Panel Discussion

Family Business Histories: Europe, Asia & the Middle East

Hartmut Berghoff, University of Göttingen

Munther Al-Sabbagh, Zayed University

Nelida Fuccaro, NYUAD

media gallery