Carolin Neffe

PhD student
+ 49 (0) 151 43115787


I just completed a MSc in Management at the University of Edinburgh in September 2016 to complement a wide-ranging portfolio of work experience and academic achievement. Before, I studied Business Psychology (BSc) in Germany, where I first got in touch with research in the field of Organisational Behaviour. Growing up in the environment of a family firm, my research now gives me the opportunity to explore this topic (as well as my personal insight experience) from an academic point of view. Since technology influences our way of group interaction and need for information etc., it is interesting to find out how IT shapes desired communication within family firms e.g. regarding their specific area of tension between stakeholder groups.

Since I started my academic journey in 2012, I always combined theory with practice by participating in studies and non-academic activities like numerous internships. Here, I specialised in change management within M&As.

I first got in touch with the University of Twente (UT) for my PhD, which is a joined degree in cooperation with the University of Applied Science Münster (FH Münster) in Germany. Since my main research interest is mainly focusing on leadership in family firms, I am looking forwards to work within the CM&OB research group and benefit from its member’s expertise.


PhD Student at FH Münster (Joined PhD Program in Cooperation with the UT)


  • Family Firms
  • Leadership in the Context of Ownership & Management
  • Succession Management

Current Research Projects


  • Empirical study about differences in leadership style between family and non-family CEOs in family firms
  • Systematic literature review about the role of ownership in family firms


  • Survey-based HR maturity assessment of German world market leaders
  • Accounting 2025 - Survey study on how practice experts assess the impact of current trends in accounting and controlling

Grants & Awards

Edinburgh Award (The University of Edinburgh)

Honors Program (Business and Information Technology School)

Professional Services

2013 – 2015
Tutor for Business Mathematics at the Business and Information Technology School, Iserlohn (Germany) 


HR Maturity Assessment (in Cooperation with ADP) of German World Market Leaders:

Relevant Practice-oriented Projects

Several projects during my employment at KPMG and other consultancies include (among others):

  • Planning and conducting s cultural workshop and roadshows (as part of a communication plan) during an international carve-out between China and Germany
  • Developing a common target structure during an international acquisition by means of interviews and workshops
  • Conceptualizing a series of workshops for top management level about HR Due Diligence, Organizational Design, People & Change in Mergers & Acquisitions

Other Extra Curricular Activities / Varia

Since 2014
Member of MinD-Hochschul-Netzwerk

Since 2014
Member of KPMG’s Funding Program highQ

Volunteer at Wirtschaftsjunioren Hagen/Ennepe Ruhr e.V.