picture of Todd Alessandri
Todd Alessandri
Northeastern University
picture of Sharon Danes
Sharon Danes
University of Minnesota
picture of Luis Gomez-Mejia
Luis Gomez-Mejia
Arizona State University
picture of Liena Kano
Liena Kano
University of Calgary
picture of William Schulze
William Schulze
University of Utah
picture of Ritch Sorenson
Ritch Sorenson
University of St. Thomas
picture of Justin Webb
Justin Webb
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
picture of Shaker Zahra
Shaker Zahra
University of Minnesota

Present But Not Always Seen – The Role of Families in Shaping Strategies and Organizations

University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business

Friday, October 18, 2019


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.  Despite their omnipresence and economic and social significance, family businesses are known for their preference to stay “out of the spotlight”.  This makes them ideal subjects to explore this year’s SMS Annual Conference theme from different angles and perspectives.

This SMS Conference Extension is a continuation of the previous four SMS Family Business Extensions held at Kennesaw State University (USA) in 2013, IESE Business School (Spain) in 2014, Colorado Springs (USA) in 2015, and EDHEC Business School in Paris (France) in 2018.  Like in previous years, the 2019 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 2019 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 “out of the spotlight” strategies. 
  • 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 Eddleston (, David Deeds ( or Torsten Pieper (


Related imageWe are pleased to host this extension at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business, located three blocks away from the SMS Annual Conference at the Hilton Minneapolis.

University of St. Thomas
Opus College of Business

1000 Lasalle Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Extension Registration

Extension Organizers

picture of David Deeds
David Deeds
University of St. Thomas
picture of Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Northeastern University
picture of Torsten Pieper
Torsten Pieper
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, October 17

19:00     Cocktail Reception

Friday, October 18

08:00     Registration and Refreshments
09:00     Welcome and Introductions
09:15     Keynote
10:00     Panel Discussion
10:45     Coffee Break
11:00     Workshops
12:00     Debrief
12:15     Lunch
13:30     Workshops
15:00     Refreshment Break
15:15     Keynote
16:15     Discussion and Outlook
17:00     Closing


Attendees may wish to extend their stay at the Hilton Minneapolis. There are also alternative hotels located in close proximity to the University of St. Thomas. Reservations will be made directly with the hotel by each attendee.

Registration Fees

  April -
Aug. 31
    Sept. 1 - Onsite
Member US$ 85     US$ 115
Non-Member US$ 105     US$ 135