The winners of the Ten Clarenwater Thesis Award 2017 were Bachelor student Geurt van Assen from Windesheim University of Applied Sciences (Business Economics) and Master students Klara Selling and Gabriella Gustafsson from Jönköping University (Jönköping International Business School).
The prize is an initiative of the Dutch Centre of Expertise in Family Business at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences and the Foundation Ten Clarenwater. The Award ceremony took place during the gala dinner of the IFERA Conference in Zwolle on Thursday July 5. 2018. The winners in both categories (Bachelor and Master) received a cheque of €2,500,-. Thesis submissions for the award came from nine different universities from the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Germany.
Geurt van Assen, a student from the Faculty of Business Economics at Windesheim, wrote his thesis about the influence of subsidies and stewardship behavior on sustainability. Geurt conducted qualitative and quantitative research and gave insights into motivations of entrepreneurs to invest in sustainability and the role that subsidies play. The results indicate that subsidies on sustainability should be better targeted and that more research is needed on subsidy policy. According to the jury, the thesis is a frontrunner in the current debate on stewardship and sustainability. As such, it has an important signaling function. The Bachelor thesis of Rosemarie Steenbeek from the Faculty of Small Business and Retail Management at Windesheim received an honorable mention.
The winning master thesis, by Klara Selling and Gabriella Gustafsson from the Jönköping International Business School in Sweden, is about the confidence that employees have in a new CEO after business succession. By means of a comparative case-study methodology they looked at differences among family business and non-family businesses and the involvement of the CEO at the company prior to the succession. The jury commended the interesting stakeholder approach and the exceptional level of the cross-case analysis. Charles Duchêne from the University of Maastricht received an honorable mention for his master thesis.