Online Extension

This SMS Extension will be hosted on October 23, October 30, and November 6 on a virtual platform. Registrants for the extension will be emailed information about how to participate in the event in early October. 

Registration for the extension will be $15 USD. 

We hope you enjoyed this extension series!

We hope you enjoyed this extension series on Family Business! Following the event, the organizers would like to share the recordings from each session. 

October 23

October 30

November 6

Balancing Continuity and Radical Change in Family Business

"Family Fridays"
October 23, October 30, & November 6
16:00 - 18:00 UTC

Family businesses represent the vast majority of all companies around the world, ranging from relatively small entities to global players, such as Cargill, The Carlson Companies, SC Johnson, Mars, Ford, BMW, or ArcelorMittal to mention but a few. In the United States alone, family businesses employ over 62 percent of the workforce and contribute upwards of 64 percent of the nation’s GDP. Likewise, family businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, representing 85 percent of all private sector firms.

Like other firms, family businesses are regularly confronted with radical technological, economic, social, political and legal changes in their environment, requiring ever-increasing levels of flexibility and adaptability. Unlike their non-family counterparts, family businesses face additional challenges in that they must balance the need for adaptability and change with a desire for transgenerational continuity and preservation of traditions. The family system itself is altering significantly. Families become smaller, have fewer children and will include more elderly persons, potentially endangering the continuity of the family business.

At the same time, many of the inventions and disruptive innovations that have introduced lasting changes in the world emanated from family businesses (see, for instance, many “Hidden Champion” firms, many of which are family owned and managed), demonstrating that they can successfully overcome these challenges and even become important disruptors to other organizations. This makes them ideal subjects to explore this year’s SMS conference theme from different angles and perspectives.

This SMS Conference Extension is a continuation of the previous five SMS Family Business Extensions held at Kennesaw State University (USA) in 2013, IESE Business School (Spain) in 2014, Colorado Springs (USA) in 2015, EDHEC Business School in Paris (France) in 2018, and University of St. Thomas (USA) in 2019. Like in previous years, the 2020 Family Business Extension will bring together leading strategy scholars, prominent family business researchers interested in strategy’s applications to family firms, and practitioners who work in and with family businesses.

This 2020 Family Business Extension pursues three main objectives: First, to discuss and develop topical and future research avenues at the intersection of strategic management and family business – in particular as they pertain to strategies in dealing with disruption and uncertainty. Second, to promote the exchange of ideas, methodologies and experiences to broaden participants’ understanding of family business research opportunities. Third, to connect research with practice through meaningful conversations between practitioners and business stakeholders interested in sharing knowledge and best practices to overcome current family business challenges.

Participants are encouraged to send their ideas, questions, and proposals to the organizers: Kimberly EddlestonMathew Hughes, or Torsten Pieper.


picture of Andrea Calabrò
Andrea Calabrò
IPAG Business School, Nice Campus
picture of Giovanna Campopiano
Giovanna Campopiano
Centre for Family Business, Lancaster University Management School
picture of Alfredo De Massis
Alfredo De Massis
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
picture of David Deeds
David Deeds
University of St. Thomas
picture of Duane Ireland
Duane Ireland
Texas A&M University
picture of Liena Kano
Liena Kano
University of Calgary
picture of Franz Kellermanns
Franz Kellermanns
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
picture of G. T. Lumpkin
G. T. Lumpkin
University of Oklahoma
picture of Paavo Ritala
Paavo Ritala
LUT University
picture of William Schulze
William Schulze
University of Utah
picture of Shaker Zahra
Shaker Zahra
University of Minnesota

Extension Organizers

picture of Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Northeastern University
picture of Mathew Hughes
Mathew Hughes
University of Leicester
picture of Torsten Pieper
Torsten Pieper
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Extension Sessions

Oct. 23: Strategy Day

“What can family business research learn from the strategic management field about continuity and radical change?”
Panel of strategy scholars discussing burning issues in strategic management and why these issues should matter for family business scholarship.

Oct. 30: Family Business Day

“What can strategic management learn from family business research?”
Panel of family business scholars discussing about the nuances in family business research that can help us reshape strategy questions. Aspects include embracing new forms and sources of competitive advantage, non-financial goals, and its effect on short versus longer term strategy, religion and kinship, resilience, rethinking top manager change and succession.

Nov. 6: Spa Day (!)

“A time for reflection, laughing, wonder and learning!”
Academic life is tough, full of rejection, and every so often it pays to take a step back and reflect on what we can take away from all this… including the misfortune of others and not just yourself! Themes for this session include speakers’ “My worst rejection!”, “Making lemonade from lemons!”, and “My most surprising paper!” (the latter can mean anything from bringing a paper becoming a citation magnet to being one that was smooth sailing or faced rough seas). We will also have a fun poll and certificate for the saddest story.