Online Extension

This SMS Extension will be hosted on October 23 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. 

Balancing Continuity and Radical Change in Family Business

Friday, October 23, 2020
Time: TBD

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 a panel of 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.

Extension Organizers

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