German Mittelstand - Between Facts and Perceptions

In recent years, the entrepreneurial landscape has been subject to structural change which also impacts on the German Mittelstand. This study explores key characteristics of the Mittelstand, drawing on a business survey. We analyse potential discre¬pancies between our definition that classifies the Mittelstand based on the unity of ownership and leadership and the entrepreneur’s sense of belonging to the Mittelstand as well as their assessment of typical Mittelstand values and norms. In order to better distinguish between these various segments of the Mittelstand, we introduce the construct "universe of the Mittelstand" (Mittelstandsuniversum). This construct allows policy makers to better address the Mittelstand, taking into account its growing differentiation and heterogeneity.

Welter, F.; May-Strobl, E.; Holz, M.; Pahnke, A.; Schlepphorst, S.; Wolter, H.-J.; unter Mitarbeit von Kranzusch, P. (2015): Mittelstand zwischen Fakten und Gefühl, IfM Bonn: IfM-Materialien Nr. 234, Bonn.

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