IFERA 2013 Conference at University of St. Gallen 

In what ways do family, ownership and governance interact to create or destroy value in family firms? 

The International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and the University of St.Gallen invite you to participate in the 2013 IFERA Annual Conference (IFERA 2013). This global conference will take place in St.Gallen, Switzerland from July 2nd to 5th, 2013. The purpose of the conference is to advance family business scholarship by serving as a platform for sharing new ideas and insights to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in the broad area of family business. We are an inclusive, multi-disciplinary, and global conference welcoming submissions from diverse theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Our pre-conference event, the IFERA Consortiums are initiatives aimed at developing research skills of doctoral students and research faculty. Our post -conference event, "IFERA Family Business Day" aims to engage business families and family business scholars in a synergistics conversation to promote an appreciation of research and enhance the relevance of academic research.

Chair's Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to host IFERA 2013 Annual Conference at the Center for Family Business, University of St.Gallen. The picturesque city of St.Gallen is a UNESCO world heritage site, surrounded by the beautiful Lake Constance and the Alps. We welcome scholars in all disciplnes to engage in the conversation of family business research in charming city of St. Gallen. 

The conference theme “Ownership, Governance and Value in Family Firms” is central to several family business scholars, while the topics of ownership and governance are addressed in multiple academic arenas in the business discipline.  We hope to seek new insights into the distinct relationships between ownership forms, governance structures and value creation in family businesses.

The conference will be addressed by two outstanding scholars, Professor Ruth Aguilera, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and Professor Bob Hoskisson, Rice University, who will share their outlook on the conference theme.

Pre-conference activities feature IFERA 2013 Faculty Development and Doctoral Consortiums.  The conference concludes with IFERA Family Business Day, a forum for interaction between business families and family business scholars.

"IFERA Family Business Day" aims to engage business families and family business scholars in a synergistics conversation to promote an appreciation of research and enhance the relevance of academic research.

Authors of the best papers, PhD and research proposals will be distinguished with special awards and will be invited to submit their papers to special journal issues. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit and learn about the beautiful city of St.Gallen, its UNESCO heritage site, and its beautiful surroundings.

We cordially invite you to take part in IFERA 2013 annual conference and look forward to welcoming you in Switzerland!

Best wishes, and see you soon!

Thomas Zellweger and Wim Voordeckers

IFERA 2013 Program Chairs 

Conference Committee

Thomas Zellweger, University of St.Gallen

Wim Voordeckers, Hasselt University

Philipp Sieger, University of St.Gallen

Nadine Kammerlander, University of St.Gallen

Sanjay Goel, University of Minnesota Duluth

Ranjan Karri, University of Illinois Springfield

Ramona Zachary, City University of New York

Call for Papers

"Ownership, Governance, and Value in Family Firms"

The International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and the University of St.Gallen invite you to participate in the 2013 IFERA Annual Conference (IFERA 2013). This global conference will take place in St.Gallen, Switzerland from July 2nd to 5th, 2013.

The purpose of the conference is to advance family business scholarship by serving as a platform for presentation of carefully crafted contributions seeking to find home in top-tier academic journals, advancement of papers that need further development in order to make a meaningful contribution, testing of new ideas and plans that will benefit of advice from other members of the IFERA family and our distinguished quests, and raising of new and relevant questions concerning family business. Highlighting the role of IFERA as a bridge between intellectual framings and praxis of family business, the conference also brings together different actors to identify and advance best practices and policies in the family business. Finally, with the IFERA tradition of having fun, the conference provides an inspiring and unique atmosphere for networking and exchanging ideas.

Keynote Speakers

We are proud to announce two renowned scholars as keynote speakers for the 2013 IFERA conference, who will share their insights and suggest avenues for future research on the conference theme.

- Ruth Aguilera, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- Robert E. Hoskisson, Rice University

About the Conference Theme

Given the enduring centrality of ownership and governance related topics in scholarly discussions on family firms as well as their important implications for theory and practice, the IFERA 2013 overall theme is dedicated to “Ownership, Governance, and Value in Family Firms”. This topic also reflects the increasing interest of governance scholars in family businesses.

Ownership and governance in family firms have attracted broad scholarly attention as critical determinants of family involvement that have the potential to influence firms’ goal setting, strategic activities, and finally performance. Researchers have applied an ample set of theoretical perspectives – including agency theory, stewardship theory, and resource based view, to mention only a few – to investigate the different types of governance, related formalized and non-formalized governance mechanisms, and their implications on a variety of stakeholders – family, outside minority investors, community, society/nation as a whole. Related to this topic, value creation – including the achievement of short and long term financial and non-economic goals of the family – has long been a core theme in family business literature. In addition, some voices have questioned whether a predominance of family ownership destroys value at a macro level, by creating incentives to pervert the political process and creating entry barriers to entrepreneurship by first generation entrepreneurs. 

To-date, despite the relevance of these core family business topics, many of the critical antecedents, precise mechanisms and key implications of family governance and ownership, still remain ambiguous. We thus encourage scholars to apply theoretical rigor, systematic research designs, and a wide variety of methodological approaches in order to shed further light on these central family business research areas. 

Topics of potential contributions to IFERA 2013 include but are not limited to: 

Ownership

  • How do different academic disciplines help us understand the dimensions and dynamics of ownership in family firms?
  • Why are families sometimes willing/reluctant to share ownership with outsiders?
  • Why do minority stockholders invest/not invest in family dominated firms?
  • What is the relationship between formal and psychological aspects of ownership in family firms?
  • What are the relationships among psychological ownership, socio-emotional wealth, and emotional dynamics in family firms?
  • What explains the exclusion or inclusion of family members in the ownership structure of the firm?
  • How does the institutional environment affect the prevalence of family firm as an ownership form in different countries?

Governance

  • What differences are there in governance across listed firms in which the dominant owner is a bank, a co-operative, a family, a foundation, an individual, an insurance company or a state?
  • How can theory on family firm governance benefit from integrating new theoretical perspectives?
  • What are the social-psychological factors and/or dynamics that explain deviances in family firm governance, and what effects these may have on value delivered to various stakeholders?
  • What are the roles of official vs. unofficial structures and systems in family firm governance?
  • What is the relationship between family related factors/dynamics and governance mechanisms and structures in family firms?
  • Do the family system governance mechanisms and structures influence or carry over to the firm governance?
  • What is the relationship between governance mechanisms and resource acquisition in family firms?
  • What is the role of institutional forces in shaping family firm governance? How do institutional forces influence the diffusion of governance practices in family firms, or between family and nonfamily firms?

Value Creation and Value Destruction

  • How is success defined in and by family firms?
  • Abstractions and analyses of firm value, performance, and sustainability – how family firms define “value” and “performance”? Do they care about sustainability implicitly or explicitly? What kind of governance mechanisms are used to shepherd and monitor progress on these issues?
  • What constitutes the underlying theoretical rationale(s) to explain the value creation process and the outcomes of this process in family firms? Could family firms create value for certain stakeholders at the expense of destroying value for other stakeholders?
  • How does value creation/destruction occur within the owning family and its family system?
  • What is the balance of sustainability between both the family and the firm and how it this balance achieved overtime?
  • Can one support the notion that often it is the family that is of value to the business/firm (as an actor in its own right)?
  • What constitutes the underlying theoretical rationale(s) to explain failure of or exit from family firms?

IFERA 2013 welcomes all high quality theoretical and empirical contributions to the general field of family business and in particular those relating to the conference theme.

Conference Awards

Conference Awards

IFERA Best Conference Paper Award:

Award stipend: The University of Alberta Best Research Paper Award – 2,000 EUROS.

IFERA Best Conference Paper Award for First-Time Presenter:

Award stipend: Complimentary IFERA membership and Conference registration for 2014.

IFERA Best Ph.D. Research Proposal Award (click here for the call):

Award stipend: IFERA Best Ph.D. Research Proposal Award – 2,000 EUROS

Click here to submit your Ph.D. Proposal  

IFERA Best Reviewer:

Award stipend: Complimentary IFERA membership for 2014.

Consortiums

Doctoral and Faculty Consortiums

8th Doctoral Consortium is designed as an interactive and educational event for doctoral students planning to pursue a career of scholarship in the family business field. It aims at providing an additional opportunity for the students to share the latest state of their research, learn from and get socialized in the field via close interaction with their peers and experienced participating faculty.

6th Faculty Development Consortium offers opportunities for new and experienced faculty to develop their careers and skills. Through workshops and group work, faculty will learn and interact with their peers on key topics including publication in peer reviewed journals, teaching family business curriculum, developing research programs, creating and directing a research center, supervising and mentoring doctoral students.

Conference Associates: Claudia Binz, Julia-Carolin Schmid

Guidelines

Guidelines for Session chairs 

Paper Presentations

Session chairs are expected to lead the interactive discussion and also provide further constructive feedback on each of the papers.  The Chair will also introduce each presenter and assure the timing of the session. Because full papers are not available online (due to restrictions in the submission process of many journals), chairs are expected to email the authors in their session and obtain the papers in advance to prepare a commentary on each of the papers.

Chairs are expected to keep track of time in each session as follows:

15 minutes presentation of your research
5 minutes commentary from your session Chair and other presenters
10 minutes interactive discussion with the participants to the session

Discussion Sessions

Session chairs are expected to provide further constructive feedback on the future development of each abstract and provide oversight of the ensuing session discussions of each abstract as well as manage the timing of the session.  During each discussion segment for each abstract, the Chair is expected to engage all presenters as well as the conference attendees present.

Because full papers are not available online (due to restrictions in the submission process of many journals), chairs are expected to email the authors in their session and obtain the papers in advance to prepare a commentary on each of the papers.

Email address of authors along with the abstract of each paper is available when you click on the paper title on the online program.