Mission and Research Themes


The main purpose of the Chair of Succession and Family Enterprise is to develop and disseminate knowledge and expertise relating to all aspects of family businesses, large and small, public and private, domestic and foreign. The activities of the chair are structured around four complementary axes:

  1. Scholarly research aimed at a more profound and encompassing understanding of family enterprises, their development, competitive advantages, governance mechanisms, entrepreneurial behavior and challenges, and unique issues regarding their ownership and top team succession.
  2. Dissemination of knowledge from this research via seminars, colloquia, and publications aimed at both academics and practitioners.
  3. Course development and training of students at the Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. level to build managerial and research competencies in the field of family business and family firm succession.
  4. Advisory services to companies, public agencies, and non-profit organizations relating to the governance, strategic, and succession issues pertaining to family firms that puts into practice the learning garnered by the Chair.

Some of the research themes pursued by the Chair to date include the following:

  • Commons sources of succession failures and how to overcome them.
  • The unique strategic advantages of family firms.
  • Governance practices, and how best to deal with family-related agency and competency challenges.
  • Determinants of innovation and entrepreneurship in family-run firms.
  • The relative merits of family and non-family top executives.
  • Resource advantages and disadvantages of family-owned firms.
  • Sources of long-term family firm survival.
  • Financial performance of publicly traded family vs. non-family firms.
  • Managerial practices and sources of competitive advantage in Korean and Italian family firms.
  • The impact of the institutional environment on family firm governance practices, strategies, and performance.