IFERA 2014 Conference at Lappeenranta, Finland

Co-operation Within and Amongst Family Businesses

What ideas and principles do business families and family businesses follow in their internal and external relations to secure efficient and effective co-operation?

The International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) invite you to participate in the 2014 IFERA Annual Conference (IFERA 2014).  This global conference will take place in the beautiful town of Lappeenranta, located in South-Eastern Finland on the shores of the country’s largest lake, from June 24 –27, 2014.   

The purpose of the conference is to advance family business scholarship by (1) serving as a platform for presentation of carefully crafted contributions seeking to find home in top-tier academic journals, (2) advancement of papers that need further development in order to make a meaningful contribution, (3) testing of new ideas and plans that will benefit via advice from other members of the IFERA family and our distinguished quests, and (4) raising of new and relevant questions concerning family business.

Finally, with the IFERA tradition of having fun, the conference provides an inspiring and a unique atmosphere for networking, bonding, and exchanging ideas, as well as imaginative and unique social programs, highlighting the local culture, cuisine, and charms.

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 synergistic conversation to promote an appreciation of research and enhance the relevance of academic research. It underlines the role of IFERA as a bridge between intellectual framings and praxis of family business.

Save the date!  June 24-27, 2014!  We look forward to seeing you here in June 2014 and saying “welcome!”  “tervetuloa!” 

Chair's Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to host IFERA 2014 Annual Conference at the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). Lappeenranta is a city of about 72 000 inhabitants in Southeast Finland, on the border of the European Union and Russia. Location on the southern shores of the lake Saimaa makes Lappeenranta the regions’ centre for tourism. The closeness of the border and the role of the university are manifested by references to Lappeenranta as “the International University City”.

The conference theme “Co-operation within and amongst family businesses” calls us to discuss about collective action within and between family and business systems as well as amongst family businesses. The theme challenges us to think about the core ideas, values and principles that help secure efficient, effective, and sustainable co-operation amongst individuals and entities in different family business contexts. We expect this to contribute to a variety of established scholarly discussions within the field, but also open previously ignored avenues for family business research.

The conference will be addressed by two outstanding scholars, Professor Michael Pratt (Boston College) and Professor Theodore Greenstein (North Carolina State University), who will also participate in pre- and/or post-conference activities.

Pre-conference activities feature IFERA 2014 Faculty Development and Doctoral Consortiums that contribute to the development of scholarly competencies of IFERA members and also help the field realize its potential.

The conference concludes with IFERA Family Business Day, a forum for interaction between business families and family business scholars. This is the place where rigor meets relevance, engaging business families and family business scholars in a synergistic conversation to promote mutual understanding, appreciation, and utility.

Authors of the best papers, PhD and research proposals will be distinguished with special awards. There will also be an opportunity for all participants to submit their completed papers to IFERA 2014 Special Issues in scientific journals.

Scholars in all disciplines and business families all over the globe, we cordially invite you to take part in IFERA 2014 Annual Conference at LUT. We look forward to welcoming you to Lappeenranta and having you engage in cutting edge discussions on family business, while enjoying the Midnight sun.

Best wishes, and see you in June 2014!

Iiro Jussila and Dietmar Roessl, IFERA 2014 Program Chairs

Conference Committee

Honorary Program Chair - Matti Koiranen, University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

Academic Program Co-Chair - Iiro Jussila, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)

Academic Program Co-Chair - Dietmar Roessl, Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria) 

Assistant Program Chair - Tanja Kontinen, University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom) and University of Jyväskylä (Finland).

Committee member – Tuuli Ikäheimonen, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)

Committee member – Terhi Tuominen, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)

Committee member – Noora Rantanen, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)

Committee member – Lea Lonka, Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland)


Sanjay Goel, University of Minnesota Duluth (USA)

Gonzalo Gomez Betancourt, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia)

Chris Graves, University of Adelaide (Australia)

Ranjan Karri, University of Illinois Springfield (USA)

Torsten Pieper, Kennesaw State University (USA)

Anita van Gils, Maastricht University (Netherlands)

Ramona Zachary, City University of New York (USA)

Call for Papers

"Co-operation Within and Amongst Family Businesses"

The International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) and the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) invite you to participate in the IFERA 2014 Annual Conference .  This global conference will take place in the beautiful town of Lappeenranta, located in South-Eastern Finland on the shores of the country’s largest lake, from June 24 – 27, 2014.  

 The purpose of the conference is to advance family business scholarship by (1) serving as a platform for presentation of carefully crafted contributions seeking to find home in top-tier academic journals, (2) advancement of papers that need further development in order to make a meaningful contribution, (3) testing of new ideas and plans that will benefit of advice from other members of the IFERA family and our distinguished quests, and (4) 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 annual conference brings together business families and scholars to identify and advance best practices in the family business. Policy issues are not ignored either. Finally, with the IFERA tradition of having fun, the conference provides an inspiring and a unique atmosphere for networking, bonding, and exchanging ideas.

Keynote Speakers

We are proud to announce two renowned scholars as keynote speakers for the IFERA 2014 Annual Conference, who will share their valuable insights and suggest avenues for future research on the conference theme.

- Professor Theodore N. Greenstein (North Carolina State University)

- Professor Michael Pratt (Boston College)

 About the Conference Theme

The Conference invites papers on all aspects of family business research, including but not limited to succession, leadership and governance, entrepreneurship, strategy, family relationships, emotions, family psychology and sociology, economics, finance, and accounting, as well as issues that lie at the intersection of these and other interrelated disciplines. All theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome as we advance the field in a truly multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, rigorous, reflexive, and critical fashion. In addition, we invite papers that speak directly to the selected conference theme of “Co-operation within and amongst Family Businesses.” 

 The Family System and Co-operation

In order to ensure survival and growth over time, family members from various generations must learn how to co-operate with each other. Thereby, a question worth asking is: What practices have business families adopted in order to secure efficient and effective co-operation within them? Further, what are the mechanisms through which within family co-operation operates and what are the key constructs and theories we should use to understand and employ to develop co-operation within business families? Do families which develop processes of co-operation in the family system transfer this knowledge and practices to their businesses? Does the family context make a difference as we make use of, for example, theories of social action or social exchange?

 Co-operation within the Business System

As family business integrates two systems, the family and the business, another interesting question is: How do family businesses secure and develop co-operation with non-family stakeholders? What are the characteristics of family businesses and their environment that make them more or less attentive to stakeholder interests and why? Are there particular principles that guide family businesses in their decision-making concerning certain stakeholders (e.g., employees, local community)? How do the stakeholders themselves view family businesses as collaborators or potential collaborators? Is there something about businesses in which family is more involved than those in which it is less involved that helps or hampers co-operation?

 Co-operation as a Strategy and Co-operation between Family Businesses

Third, family businesses have typically been considered as having a desire for independence. On the other hand, different kind of collaborations have become more and more important over the past years and we often witness co-operation between family business groups in regional, international and global arenas. Thereby, an interesting question asks: What kinds of collaborations (informal, formal) have family businesses used to better their position in their fields of business? Are family businesses more inclined to co-operate with family businesses than with other corporations? What kinds of organization (company) forms have been adopted and why? Are there particular fields on which certain kind of arrangements have become popular and why? How have collaboration strategies and the governance of collaborations been shaped by family aspects? Are there collaborative arrangements amongst family businesses in particular and what role does the family firm identity and/or image play in those collaborations?

 Fundamentals of Co-operation

Finally, it has been recently suggested that the advancement of knowledge in the fields of family business and co-operation (as a particular company form and form of governance) would benefit of exchange of ideas. It has been considered that the principles and ideas of co-operation might prove helpful for example in the development of family business governance. The basic ideas of co-operation involve (1) voluntary association of persons and/or entities, (2) freedom with fellow members, (3) accountability to others, (4) joint ownership and democratic control with fellow members, (5) beneficiality of action, (6) fairness in distribution of economic value, and (7) expertise concerning the business at hand, the operation environment, and the company form (see Jussila, 2012*). These ideas have traditionally been used to organize and run co-operative form of collaboration between family businesses for example in the field of agriculture. Overarching the conference theme, the question here is: To what extent have business families adopted the co-operative ideas and principles to secure efficient and effective co-operation and in what ways could family businesses benefit from the use of them?

Journal Special issues

Noteworthy, contributions that address the conference theme in some meaningful way will be considered for a Special Issue in a new Elsevier journal, the Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management (JCOM*).  *  http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-co-operative-organization-and-management/

In addition, other best papers from the conference will be invited to submit their work to a Special Issue of Journal of Family Business Strategy, also an Elsevier journal and an IFERA partner.

Conference Awards

IFERA 2014 Best Conference Research Paper Award

To recognize the best of our best conference research papers. Selected based on reviews and juried.

Award amount:2,000 EUROS award sponsored by IFERA

IFERA 2014 Best Ph.D. Research Proposal Award (Click here for the call):

Award: 2,000 EUROS

Deadline: April 30, 2014

Click here to submit your Ph.D. Proposal 

IFERA 2014 Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Research Paper/Case Award (Click here for the call):

Award: 2,000 EUROS

Deadline: February 2, 2014

Click here to make your conference submission

2014 IFERA–Finnish Family Firm Association Award for Best Contribution to Practice

Nominated papers by jury reviewers during the conference paper review process are considered for this award. Identified authors were asked to submit an Executive Summary of the practical implications for practice that directly emerge from their IFERA paper submission.

Award:  2,000 EUROS sponsored by Finnish Family Firm Association

IFERA 2014 Best Conference Paper Award for First-Time Presenter

To encourage new researchers of family business.

Award: 1000 EUROS award sponsored by IFERA

IFERA 2014 Best Reviewer Award

Recognition of outstanding reviewers for conference papers.

Award: Complimentary registration for IFERA2015 conference - Sponsored by IFERA


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.

Consortium Manager: Claudia Binz Astrachan


IFERA Professional Development Workshop (PDW)

Topical Focus

Family business research can immensely benefit from a growing and expanding use of qualitative research.  High ranking journals already encourage academics to submit high quality papers using qualitative methods.

The Inaugural IFERA Professional Development Workshop (PDW) will expose attendees to some aspects of qualitative methods and techniques that can be applied to current research in family business.The goal is to assist researchers in challenging and reconsidering their methods by expanding their knowledge of qualitative measures.

This Inaugural PDW is focused on a few of the commonly used techniques and methods in qualitative research with specific emphasis on their applicability to the family business field. PDW facilitators have been encouraged to design interactive sessions for hands-on learning and skill development in use of specific methods and techniques. The current PDWs aspires to encourage development of fresh insights in enhancing our understanding of the appropriateness and effectiveness of qualitative research in addressing research questions in the family business field. 

PDW Format 

The PDW includes six sessions/workshops on various qualitative research topics conducted by Donella Casperz (University of Western Australia), Alfredo De Massis (Lancaster University Management School), Jenny Helin (Uppsala University) and Mike Pratt (Boston College) who will present different techniques and methods of qualitative research, with some insights into how to apply qualitative research to family businesses research. 

PDW Facilitators

Donella Casperz, University of Western Australia

Donella's research is in the area of family business governance, employment relations related to temporary labour migration,service-learning and teamwork. Donella has an extensive range of publications and regularly attends IFERA and ISA (International Sociological Association), as well as Australian/New Zealand-based management and employment relations academic conferences. Donella's strength is qualitative research methodology that draws on content analytical tools; however, Donella also utilises a mixed methods approach in most research projects.  Donella's research focus is multidisciplinary both theoretically and conceptually and is informed by key perspectives found in the sociology of management. 

Alfredo De Massis, Lancaster University

Alfredo De Massis is Director of the Centre for Family Business at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (IEED) at Lancaster University Management School (UK) and Professor in the area of Family Business at the University of Bergamo (Italy).  His research interests include family-centered goal setting processes, intra-family succession, innovation and behavioral issues in family firms and enterprising families. On these topics, he has published some books and several papers in leading academic and professional journals, including papers in leading journals such as Entrepreneurship Theory and PracticeJournal of Product Innovation ManagementJournal of Small Business Management, andFamily Business Review

Jenny Helin, Uppsala University

Jenny Helin has a post doc at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden. Her research interests lie at the intersection of process philosophy and dialogue where she primarily inquire into living conversations and generative meeting practices in organizational contexts. She also explores how collaborative research practices and process orientations can influence how people make connections and relate to each other in organizational settings.Jenny is particularly interested in family owned businesses and has extensive experience working with family businesses.Based on her strong commitment to process philosophy in organization studies, Jenny is one of the organizers of the standing working group on process philosophy at European Group of Organization Studies (EGOS). She is also one of the editors of the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of Process Philosophy and Organization Studies.

Michael Pratt, Boston College

Michael's research is problem-centered and process-oriented, and consequently he tends to engage in cross-level research. His interests include how individuals connect with the work that they do, as well as to the organizations, professions, occupations, and other collectives in which they find themselves. Theoretically, his research draws heavily from theories of identity and identification, meaning, emotion, intuition, and culture (e.g., artifacts). Methodologically, while he has published work that utilizes lab research and surveys, much of his work is ethnographic or otherwise qualitative in nature. Questions posed by his current research include the following: “When group conflicts about interests (what groups want) change to conflicts about identity (who we are), how are such seemingly intractable conflicts resolved?” “How do organizations, that are beholden multiple stakeholders, not only create multiple identities in service of these stakeholders, but also integrate these identities into a dynamic whole?” “How can individuals and groups who experience ambivalence, transform that ambivalence into commitment, trust, creativity and wisdom?” And “how do individuals approach their work, and what difference does this make in terms of how they perform their jobs?”

PDW Program Manager

Julia-Carolin Schmid, University of Witten/Herdecke

Julia-Carolin Schmid currently works for the shareholder office of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH. In 2013 she began her Ph.D. at University of Witten/Herdecke (Germany) focusing on large family shareholder groups in terms of family strategy, governance and cohesion as well as leadership styles and shareholder commitment.

Local Arrangements Coordinator - Lea Lonka, Lappeenranta University of Technology lea.lonka@lut.fi

Family Business Board

World-class family business entrepreneurs will share their experiences on various aspects of leading and managing a family firm. Their insights will be complemented with reflections from renowned scholars from the field.

In 2014, IFERA Family Business Day will expand to a two-day event. The event is supported by Finnish Family Firms Association.  The format of the event will be as follows.

Day 1:  Education workshops on the topics of Succession, Family Office Formation and Management, FamilyProtocol Development Process, and Family Strategy Formulation. Participants will join a gala dinner with the attendees of IFERA 2014 Academic Conference in the evening.

Day 2: Keynote speeches, panel discussion, and case studies from business families from different parts of the world will be presented, followed by an academic reflection and perspective around each case.  The day will conclude with a networking cocktail in the evening.

The two-day event would be very attractive to small and medium sized business families from all over the world who wish to learn about best practices in managing family businesses for the long run, and network with business families and renowned scholars of the field from all over the world.  Their attendance also encourages and supports the development of relevant and rigorous scholarship in the area.

We look forward to welcoming you at the IFERA 2014 Family Business Day in Lappeenranta for an educational and fun event! 

Family Business Day Speakers

Sanjay Goel, Ph.D (USA)

Sanjay Goel is an associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota Duluth (USA), and advisor/consultant to family businesses.  His research has been published in various journals in the area of strategic management, entrepreneurship, and family business management. He is the current President of IFERA.

Gonzalo Gómez Betancourt, Ph.D. (Colombia)

Professor Gómez-Betancourt is the Director of the family business area and a professor of business policy at INALDE Business School, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia). He is a recognized family business consultant and speaker in Latin-American in topics related to family protocol, executive succession, corporate governance, ownership, remuneration systems and strategy. He is a collaborator for CNN in Spanish in the field of family business. He serves on IFERA board, and is the Liaison officer to IFERA fellows.

Iiro Jussila, Ph.D (Finland)

Iiro Jussila is a Professor at the School of Business in Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and is also an entrepreneur. He has more than 70 international publications. Most of this research utilizes the theory of psychological ownership in organizations. Professor Jussila is a member of the IFERA board, and the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management (JCOM).

Matty Koiranen, Ph. D. (Finland)

Professor Matti Koiranen is the leading scholar in the area of family business management.  He is National Coordinator of the Family Firm Institute in Finland and had received his international award. He is IFERA member and has three nominations in other Finnish universities. He is a world-renowned scholar and international speaker in the area of family business management. He has published seven monographs, more than 50 articles on variety of topics related to family business management and supervised and mentored more than 50 Ph.D. students in the area. He has served as the editor and reviewer for several academic research journals, as well as on boards of several companies.

Leif Melin Ph.D. (Sweden)

Leif Melin is Professor of Strategy and Organization at Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) since 1994, and the founding Director of CeFEO - Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership since 2005. He is a world-renowned scholar in the area of strategy, entrepreneurship, and family business management.

Josep Tàpies, Ph.D (Spain)

Josep Tàpies is Professor of management and family business at IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra. He is also a honorary/visiting Professor in various business schools from Europe and Latin America. Professor Tàpies is consultant to several Spanish and international companies and banks. He is board member of several Spanish companies. He is a Fellow of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA).

Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodriguez, Ph.D (Mexico)

Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodríguez is CEO of Trevinyo-Rodríguez & Associates, an organization that advises and educates business families, and founder of the TEC de Monterrey Family Business Center. She is the author of the book “Family Business: A Latin-American Vision” (Empresas Familiares: Visión Latinoamericana), which has been adopted as textbook in most Latin American Universities. Additionally she has written several research and newsletter articles and developed educational material related to the challenges businesses families face when running their family business. She is a member of the Academy of Management (AOM), Family Business Network (FBN), IFERA (International Family Enterprise Research Academy), FERC (Family Enterprise Research Conference) and become the first Latino President of the Academy of Management International Theme Committee 2010-2011. Her main research interests include wealth management in family business contexts, as well as business families’ next generation members training.

Anita Van Gils, Ph.D (Netherlands)

Anita Van Gils is associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Maastricht University (The Netherlands).  Her research has been published in many leading journals in the broad area of SME and family business management, strategy and innovation. She is the coordinator of the Master IB track in Entrepreneurship and SME management. She is board member of IFERA.   

Family Business Day Program 

Day 1 (June 26th) Case studies and workshops aimed at International and national families in Business. 

Short academic reflections will provide you with new impulses and most recent insights from family firm research. The most important topics for Family businesses will be developed by recognized international professors trough case studies.

 8:30 - 9:00

 Coffee & Welcome

 Gonzalo Gomez Betancourt 

 9:00 - 10:30


Josep Tàpies

 10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

 11:00 - 12:30


Anita Van Gils

 12:30 - 14:00


 14:00 - 15:30

 Family Protocols process

 Gonzalo Gomez Betancourt 

 15:30 - 16:00

 Coffee Break

 16:00 - 17:30

 Family Office

 Rosa Nelly Trevinyo-Rodriguez


Gala Dinner with the attendees of IFERA 2014 Academic Conference 

Day 2 (June 27th) Family in Business’ Presentations aimed at Academics, Practitioners and Families in Business.

Speakers of well-known business families from Europe, North and South America, and Asia will share their inspiring stories. The day is bookended by two renowned key note speakers with years of experience in studying and guiding family business scholarship and advising family businesses.

 09:30-10:00 FB Day Registration - Galleria Lobby 
 10:00 – 10:10


Iiro Jussila & Sanjay Goel 

Room: KETS DE VRIES (2310)

 10:10 - 11:00

Key Note speech

"Family Business as a Dynamic Resource" - Matti Korainen

Room: KETS DE VRIES (2310)

 11:00 – 12:00

Finnish Family

Room: DANES (1381)

Polish Family

Room: WARD (1383)

 12:00 - 13:00

LUNCH - University Main Restaurant

 13:00 - 14:00

Finnish Family

Room: DANES (1381)

American Family

Room: WARD (1383) 

 14:00 - 15:00

Asian Family

Room: DANES (1381)

Colombian Family

Room: WARD (1383)

15:00 - 15:15

Coffee Break

 15:15 - 16:15

Panel: Professionalization of family businesses –

Torsten Pieper, Moderator

Panel consists of business families and Academics

Room: KETS DE VRIES (2310)

 16:15 - 17:00

Keynote Speech

Core characteristics and strategizing arenas of entrepreneurial families and family firms - Leif Melin

Room: KETS DE VRIES (2310)

 17:00 - 18:00

Invitation to IFERA 2015 Family Business Day 

Guenther Strunk

 18:00 - 18:10

Closing Thanks

Sanjay Goel


     COCKTAILS - Galleria Lobby

     Live Finnish Music played by students of Lappeenranta Music Instituute

 For Business Families: 

June 26th and 27th (Both days):    € 900

June 26th or 27th (Any one day):    € 600 *

For Professional Service Providers:

June 27th only: € 1100

*Registration for Day 1 includes gala dinner. Registration fee for Day 2 includes closing cocktail reception. 

Local Arrangements Coordinator

Noora Rantanen, Lappeenranta University of Technology