The IFERA 2018 Award Ceremony

September 18, 2018

Hosted by the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in the beautiful city of Zwolle, the IFERA 2018 Conference has been able to gather once again the family business community to discuss the effects of radical technological changes in the family business environment, as well as major social, economic and political changes in modern society. Enriched by some enlightening keynote speeches given by Jospeph H. Astrachan, Timothy S. Mescon, Kimberly D. Elsbach and Josip Kotlar, and characterized by an intense program of parallel sessions, the conference has also left some space for networking activities and some usual IFERA fun. Among the social events, the Gala Dinner on July 5th has emerged as an outstanding night. The venue “Raw Space”, a converted industrial space now cultural platform of the famous artist Ronhald A. Westerhuis,, has been the perfect setting to enjoy delicious food and friendly chatting. During the Award Ceremony, thanks to the contribution of our eminent juries, six awards have been assigned as follows: The winner of The “Province of Overijssel” Best conference paper award, “Risk-taking and Financial Distress in Family Business” has been co-authored by Francesco Chirico, Massimo Baù, Luis R. Gómez-Mejia and Geoffrey Martin. The study aims to understand the financial consequences of family owners’ loss aversion regarding the non-financial utility, they derive from the family control, arguing that socioemotional wealth lead family firms to take less risk than non-family firms. Their findings show that family firm risk aversion leads family firm to underperform non-family firm in distressed situations (worst among the best) and outperform non-family firms in non-distressed situations (best among the worst). Moreover, they find that family firms extract higher financial returns from risk taking than non-family firms when in financial distress. The “IFERA” Best paper on conference theme award went to Joseph Astrachan, Claudia Binz Astrachan and Josip Kotlar and their paper: “Family Firm Disrupters: Exploring the Relationships between Family Cohesion, Family Disruptive Capacity, and Company Disruptive Capacity”. The study sheds a light on family firm heterogeneity and its role on a firm’s capacity to act as a disruptive force by exploring the owning family’s influence on the firm’s ability to remain competitive in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment. The authors investigate the influence of Family Cohesion and Transgenerational Intent on what they term Family Disruptive Capacity, or family related characteristics that indicate a high openness to risk-taking and change within the owning family, and on Company Disruptive Capacity, or the company’s orientation and activity-based ability to anticipate and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. Findings, unexcitingly, show that family cohesion has a strong and positive effect on both family and company disruptive capacity, with transgenerational intent further strengthening the relationship. The third award, The “Ten Clarenwater Foundation” best teaching case award, has been assigned to Jan Willem van der Vloot van Vliet, Rachel Heeringa and Ilse Matser for their teaching case “Jansen Office Supplies: Love to Work….or not? A Shift in Leadership and Strategy”, a case of cultural change and a shift of values connected with a succession in leadership that leaded the company Jansen Office Supplier close to the bankruptcy and encouraged the sons of […]

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