Holding on to Family Values or Adapting to a Changing World—The Case of Barilla

  • Fabian Bernhard
Part of the International Marketing and Management Research book series (INMAMAR)


Family businesses are often deeply rooted in their traditions. While traditions offer identity and stability in times of crisis, they can also represent obstacles when innovation and adaption become necessary. This chapter asks how family businesses handle the challenge of sustaining their traditional values and adapting to a changing environment. It illustrates the case of Barilla, an Italian pasta producer that faced a marketing disaster when the current family owner, Guido Barilla, publicly announced that his family’s traditional values conflict with modern family concepts, such as homosexual partnerships. In the second part of the chapter selected benefits and challenges of family business traditions are discussed.


Family business Traditional values Change 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Bernhard
    • 1
  1. 1.EDHEC Business SchoolParisFrance

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