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. Cutting-edge research that improves our understanding of family businesses, their sustainability, competitive advantages, governance, entrepreneurial capacities, and unique processes of owner and manager succession;
  2. Knowledge-sharing related to the themes of the Chair via seminars, colloquiums, and publications for practitioners and academics;
  3. Training for undergraduate and graduate students to help them develop the managerial and research competencies needed to foster sustainable family businesses and successful successions;
  4. Advisory services to companies, public agencies, and non-profit organizations relating to governance, strategic, and succession issues pertaining to family firms.

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.