Skip to main content

Peter Jaskiewicz: Using Lessons in Family Enterprise to Help the Next Generation

Peter Jaskiewicz (far right) with (left to right) PhD candidate's Amlan Datta and Ritu Virk, FELI Supporter Patricia Saputo and PhD candidate Elizabeth Tetzlaff

Telfer professor Peter Jaskiewicz was in the early stages of his studies when his entrepreneur uncle suddenly passed away. There was no obvious successor, the business collapsed and the extended family plunged into conflict.

Wanting to understand what happened, Jaskiewicz turned his academic focus to family enterprise. Over 20 years later, Jaskiewicz is a global leader in the field, identifying best practices through rigorous research and helping family enterprises avoid the same predicament that befell his uncle’s.

Jaskiewicz, who is Director of the Family Enterprise Legacy Institute (FELI) and University Research Chair in Enduring Entrepreneurship, was interviewed for talking about his early career, what brought him to Canada, and what led him to start FELI.

Jaskiewicz’s research focuses on addressing common and potential problems faced by family enterprises, and on developing best practices, with a particular focus on the next generation.  As Jaskiewicz notes in the interview, “We are at a time when six out of 10 family enterprises in Canada will be passed on to the next generation in the next decade, but families are not always prepared for it. This is obviously a big danger not only to families and individuals, but also to our society.”

Enabling Next Generation Legacies, Jaskiewicz’s book, co-written with FELI visiting professor Sabine Rau, is based on conversations with over 100 families to help the next generation. “The next generation asks very different questions than their parents; the book lists their top 35 questions, with 35 answers and 35 families providing commentary about how they dealt with it,” Jaskiewicz says. “We’ve been happy to hear from families, advisers and academics around the world that they are using the book to help spark conversations with the Next Gen.”

“We’re here to work with and for enterprising families. They have tremendous responsibility to use their wealth in a productive way and in a responsible manner.”
- Peter Jaskiewicz, FELI Director

Along with sparking conversations, Jaskiewicz and FELI are looking to help elevate and engage the next generation of enterprising families in new ways that will activate their true potential and encourage responsible ownership. “We’re here to work with and for enterprising families. They have tremendous responsibility to use their wealth in a productive way and in a responsible manner.”

FELI and the Telfer School of Management offer BCom, MBA, MSc and PhD-level programs on family enterprise, as well as an executive education program tailored for individual families. FELI is also developing a certificate program in responsible ownership for NextGens. As Jaskiewicz notes, “This is what our institute is doing — training, teaching and creating best practices from research so families can not only manage their transition but also ensure that there is responsible decision-making to build success in the next generation ahead.”

Learn more about the Family Enterprise Legacy Institute.  

About the Author

En tant que gestionnaire principale, Katrina Barclay joue un rôle important dans la planification, l’organisation, l’exécution et l’amélioration continue des activités de l’Institut de l’héritage des entreprises familiales (FELI). <br/> <br/> As Executive Manager, Katrina Barclay plays a key role in the planning, organisation, execution and continuous improvement of all aspects of the Family Enterprise Legacy Institute (FELI).

Profile Photo of Katrina Barclay