International Business Case Partnership


RRU faculty members Charles Krusekopf and Rebecca Wilson-Mah recently partnered with Anita Zehrer and Gabriella Leiss from Management Center Innsbruck (MCI) to publish a business case in the International Journal of Instructional Cases highlighting issues related to generational transfer within a family run hotel in a village in Austria.

The case came about through School of Business faculty member Charles Krusekopf's term in Innsbruck as a visiting lecturer at MCI. There he met Professors Zaher and Leiss, who work with MCI's Family Business program. They described how the tourism sector in Tirol is dominated by small, family run businesses, but many are facing challenges as an older generation looks to retire but are unsure how to pass the family business on to their children. This problem sounded familiar to Rebecca Wilson-Mah of the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, so together they worked with the MCI faculty to explore the common challenges but unique settings of family businesses around the world. Building from the foundations formed by the active business case working group at RRU led by Wilson-Mah, the team worked together to write a business case that can be used to teach about family and small business planning in Canada, Austria or other parts of the world.

This case writing partnership is one of many collaborations between RRU and MCI, including student and faculty exchange opportunities, and a recent book publication The Disruptive Power of Online Education that highlighted a number of authors from RRU.

To access the family business case, visit:


A family-run four-star hotel in the Austrian Alps has challenges with regard to family firm succession. The family firm is currently in its second generation, and the owners, Perry and Patricia, want to develop a plan to hand the business to the next generation. The entrepreneurial family is dealing with change and transformation processes among the family members. This case supports entrepreneurship and family business students at both undergraduate level and graduate level to consider options and issues in the succession planning of family firms. This case may be taught as an example of intra-family firm succession in a family business management, business strategy or entrepreneurship course.


Succession planning, hospitality, hotel, tourism, family business

Target Audience and Usage

The case is for undergraduate and graduate students who are exploring entrepreneurship, family business and business succession. Students will consider how successors and predecessors communicate during the succession process and which ways they use to solve intergenerational communication conflicts and misunderstandings. The case provides the opportunity to identify and discuss options with regard to the succession plan, but also identify and evaluate potential succession planning strategies for the family firm.