Generations to generations: Bridging past and future in family business

To survive and thrive over time, family businesses face the important challenge of generational transfer and renewal. The new generations have the task of developing regenerative capacities to enlarge economic and non-economic wealth for future generations. In a world dominated by the uncertainty and disruptive changes, family businesses work as intergenerational alliances oriented not only to preserve but also to generate a sustainable and growing legacy across generations. Past research demonstrated that family businesses are able to be innovative, international and entrepreneurial, renewing and evolving without losing their foundational values, identities and idiosyncrasies. Scholars have highlighted the importance of successful intergenerational processes when developing smooth transitions from the past to the future, from previous generations to the following, as well as for effectively address new and global challenges. In sum, expanding knowledge about the antecedents, processes and consequences of generational renewal in family businesses is an important priority for family business research and practice.
Therefore, we encourage submissions of papers that contribute to the presented conference theme “Generations: Bridging past and future in family business”, including (but not limited to) the following examples of research questions:
• Intergenerational conflict management and intergenerational reciprocity: How do family businesses manage intergenerational conflict and the trade-offs among the interests of different generations? Which (family) factors influence the intergenerational reciprocity among different generations?
• Family business renewal across generations: Which dynamics of change, innovation and regeneration capabilities can help the family business when renewing its legacy? What are the roles of new generations in family firms today? Which are the mechanisms through which the family business can take advantage of involving different generations for organizational renewal? How can the family business maintain and reinforce a sustaining entrepreneurial orientation across generations?
• Generations and the growing challenge of international competitiveness: How do family firms address global dynamics in an increasingly connected world? What is the role of new generations? Which are the mechanisms through which new generations may add to this big challenge?
• Family business strategy and long-term sustainability: Which are the main (successful) strategies that help family businesses preserve family business-based intangibles (e.g., identity, culture, values)? How can short-term decisions about human, social, and relational capital impact in the long-term? How do generations relate to short- and long-term strategies in family firms?
• Family business strategies and the environment: How can the family business contribute to the preservation of the environment? What role can the family business play in raising awareness of the need to preserve the environment?

Moreover, IFERA, encourages submissions that help bridge gaps or apparent contradictions in family business research, including for example: (1) how to preserve identity and family values at the same time when family firms need to renew themselves, innovate and regenerate their capabilities; (2) how to preserve attachment to local communities while adopting a global mindset and reaching an international scope; (3) how to reconcile short-term competitiveness and long-term survival. In this conference we also aim at bridging gaps between (a) theoretical orientations and practical implications; (b) different theoretical perspectives and disciplines; (c) different methodological approaches; (d) different units of analysis (as the individuals, the family, the firm, etc.), among others.
Finally, papers on all aspects of family business research, including but not limited to succession, leadership, governance, entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, marketing, organizational behavior, sociology, family psychology, history, economics, finance and accounting, as well as topics that lie at the intersection of these and other interrelated disciplines are welcome.

Key Dates and Deadlines:
• All submissions due: February 3th, 2020
• Notification of acceptance for all submissions: March 20th, 2020

Submission types:
IFERA 2020 welcomes a varied and wide range of submissions to create a vibrant conference environment among family business scholars. Submission types include:
• Full Paper
• Work in Progress
• Teaching Case Study & Teaching Exercises
• Research Development Program (Doctoral Consortium, Summer School, Paper Development Workshop – to be announced!)

Keynote speakers:
• Prof. Sharon V. Álvarez, University of Pittsburgh (US)
• Prof. Franz W. Kellermanns, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (US)
• Prof. Kimberly Wade-Benzoni, Duke University (US)
• Panel of high-level European family business practitioners (new).


• Paper development workshop (PDW) on different topics by renowned researchers on June 24th.
• Dedicated sessions for special issues in progress on June 24th.
• 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 and international format offering several opportunities of cross-fertilization among scholars and practitioners and involvement of the local, lively entrepreneurial community.
• Seminars on emerging topics in family business research and career development.
• Conference awards: best conference paper, best paper on conference theme, best theory paper award, best junior scholar award, best paper for practical contribution, best teaching case award, best Ph.D. research proposal award, most promising work-in-progress award, best reviewer award.

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

Submission types:

• Full Paper
• Work in Progress
• Teaching Case Study & Teaching Exercises
• Research Development Program (Doctoral Consortium, Summer School, Paper Development Workshop – to be announced!)

For further information about submissions please contact