"Feeding the fire of entrepreneurship: Theory and practice for the enterprising family"

In family firms, the intertwinement of the family and the business systems plays a crucial role in forging principles, values, and competences that affect entrepreneurial decision-making and outcomes. For example, family structure, members’ roles and relationships impact the resources made available to the firm and their use, both statically (i.e. at a given point in time) and dynamically (i.e. through family development and transitions). Family-related norms, attitudes and their evolution also have implications on entrepreneurial behaviors (e.g., opportunity recognition, new business start-up decisions) and outcomes (e.g., survival, fulfillment of economic and non-economic goals). Scholars agree it is increasingly important to adopt a family perspective and to focus on the enterprising family as a yet unexploited unit of analysis in entrepreneurship research.

The aim of the conference is to create a fertile ground to a) support the development of theories of the enterprising family; b) favor the disciplinary cross-fertilization of family studies and entrepreneurship fields (e.g., the application of family science theory to investigate entrepreneurship); c) frame and systematize the contribution of management theories (e.g., agency theory, stewardship theory, socio-emotional wealth perspective, resource based view, …) to the theorizing on the enterprising family. Such theorizing effort at the “enterprising family” unit of analysis has relevant implications for practice, too. Family business practitioners and educators can benefit from this line of inquiry, by recognizing the challenges related to family issues, which should be considered as complementary to the much more discussed business ones in fostering entrepreneurial potential of family firms.

We invite papers on all aspects of family business research, including but not limited to succession, leadership, governance, innovation, strategy, marketing, organizational behavior, human resource management, sociology, family psychology, history, economics, finance and accounting, as well as topics that lie at the intersection of these and other interrelated disciplines. In addition, the International Family Enterprise Research Academy, IFERA, invites papers that contribute to the presented conference theme “Feeding the fire of entrepreneurship: Theory and practice for the enterprising family”. All theoretical and methodological approaches are welcome.
University of Bergamo (www.unibg.it) is looking forward to warmly welcome you in June 2019!

Based on the conference theme, we suggest the following research agenda:
● Enterprising family, family business, and their link as unit of analysis: What makes a family an “enterprising family”? How and why do different typologies of families (e.g., post-divorce extended family; single-parent family) or different forms of involvement of these families in the business (e.g., ownership, management, governance) influence entrepreneurial activities? How do these change across cultures? What differentiates serial enterprising families and portfolio entrepreneurship in family firms?
● Family embedded perspective on entrepreneurship: How do family dynamics (e.g., birth of children, new generation members’ entry) and resources (e.g., family social capital) affect decisions regarding entrepreneurial initiatives (e.g., degree of relatedness and autonomy granted to the ventures, size and scope of enterprising family portfolio)? Are there specific stages of the family (e.g., couple with children in teens, retirement, or death) that facilitate engagement in entrepreneurial initiatives? How do the interdependence of the family and other external stakeholders influence the activities of the enterprising family?
● Effects of entrepreneurship on the family: How do family business entrepreneurial activities affect the resources (human, social, financial, physical capital) available to the enterprising family? How do family business entrepreneurial performances affect the system of norms, attitudes, goals and values of the enterprising family? How do entrepreneurial activities influence the wellbeing experienced by enterprising families’ members?
● Reconnecting family business and entrepreneurship fundamentals: How does family members’ cognitive and emotional attachment to the family affect opportunity recognition and new start-up decisions? What is the impact of active (managers and employees) and passive (owners not working in the business) family involvement on individual members’ entrepreneurial intention? How does the embeddedness of family firms in an innovation ecosystem or industrial district influence entrepreneurial activities?

Key Dates and Deadlines:
● All submissions due: February 4th, 2019
● Notification of acceptance for conference submissions: March 22nd, 2019
● Application for doctoral/faculty consortiums: March 31st, 2019
● Notification of acceptance for consortiums: April 6th, 2019

Submission types:
IFERA 2019 welcomes a varied and wide range of submissions to create a vibrant conference environment among family business scholars. Submission types include:
● Full Paper (FP)
● Work in Progress (WIP)
● Research Dissemination (RD)
● Teaching Case Study (TCS)

Highlights:
● AMR paper development workshop (PDW) on “Theory development on the enterprising family (and beyond)” by Jay Barney on June, 17th
● Keynote speakers:
o Howard Aldrich, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (US)
o Jay Barney, University of Utah (US)
o Nadine Kammerlander, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management (Germany)
● Special issues: The launch of journal special issues is being considered to give value to the most promising papers submitted to the conference
● Family Business Day with a novel format offering several opportunities of cross-fertilization among scholars and practitioners, and involvement of the local, lively entrepreneurial community
● Dedicated sessions for special issues in progress, meeting with editors of the main journals of the field, seminars on emerging topics in family business research and career development
● Conference awards: best conference paper, best paper on conference theme, best paper for practical contribution, best teaching case award, best Ph.D. research proposal award, best reviewer award

For further information about submission guidelines, conference awards, journal special issues, etc., please contact research@ifera.org

Submission types:

IFERA 2019 welcomes a varied and wide range of submissions to create a vibrant conference environment among family business scholars. Submission types include:

  • Full Paper (FP)

  • Work in Progress (WIP)

  • Research Dissemination (RD)

  • Teaching Case Study (TCS)

For further information about submission guidelines, conference awards, journal special issues, etc., please contact research@ifera.org

The conference Program Co-Chairs and the IFERA team look forward to warmly welcome you in Bergamo in June 2019!

CALL FOR PAPERS