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BERGAMO, ITALY, MAY 23-24, 2014




Alfredo De Massis*, Tommaso Minola, Lucio Cassia, Center for Young and Family Enterprise – CYFE
University of Bergamo, Italy
Leif Melin, Mattias Nordqvist, Center for Family Enterprise and Ownership – CeFEO
Jönköping International Business School, Sweden
* Centre for Family Business, Lancaster University Management School, U.K.


David Audretsch, Indiana University, USA
Kimberly Eddleston, D'Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University, USA


The EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Management Research has become one of the most important venues for scholars to gather and discuss current research on the family businesses in Europe and beyond. The 10th annual EIASM Workshop, is organized and hosted by University of Bergamo, in Italy. The 10th workshop continues the tradition of successful academic events that have been created at the previous meetings in Jönköping (2005, 2007 & 2012), Nice (2006), Naples (2008), Hasselt (2009), Barcelona (2010), Witten (2011) and Helsinki (2013). Like the previous workshops, the 10th EIASM workshop will attract a large number of established and emerging scholars from family business research and related fields to share their interest and perspectives on family firm management. The workshop will provide great opportunities for researchers to share their experiences, receive high value feedback on each other’s work and to form new research collaborations.

A systematic process of paper discussants will be organized.


Family business research is progressing in terms of theory building and theory testing, and innovation in family firms has become a topic of increasing interest in management research in recent years (De Massis, Sharma, Chua, & Chrisman, 2012).
Research indicates that innovative companies do better than their competitors (Davidsson et al., 2010; Thornhill, 2006). This explains why innovation has been the subject of extensive theoretical and empirical studies and is now widely acknowledged as an important determinant of sustained competitive performance and economic development (Van Beers et al., 2008; Zahra et al., 1999). Together with technological and organizational innovation, internationalization is a further means to innovate a business by expanding the business activity to new geographical markets.

Family firms increasingly make use of innovation to nurture their competitive advantage and to overcome economic downturn (De Massis, Frattini, Pizzurno and Cassia, 2014), and the companies Alessi, Benetton and FIAT are just three examples of well-known family firms that have strongly anchored their competitive advantage in innovation.

The study of innovation in family firms is a promising research direction since strong theoretical reasons suggest that the antecedents and outcomes of innovation are different in family and nonfamily firms (Chrisman and Patel, 2012; De Massis, Frattini and Lichtenthaler, 2013). Ownership structure affects the firm’s innovation activities and outcomes (Hoskisson, Hitt, Johnson, and Grossman, 2002) through different level of firms’ risk aversion, diversification plans, and return aspirations (Thomsen and Pedersen, 2000). Moreover, family involvement in ownership, management, and governance can result in resources unique to the family firm (Habbershon & Williams, 1999), that can then be leveraged in ways that may influence the management of innovation. In sum, family firms play an important role in the innovation driven economic development.

During the 10th EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Management we want to encourage scholars to address the family business innovation from new and creative perspectives, including
   - how and why do family businesses innovate and what are appropriate ways to conceptualize and understand their innovation performance,
   - family-centered goals and their effect on innovation inputs, processes and activities,
   - how family firms’ ability to generate and manage idiosyncratic resources over time influences their degree of exploration and exploitation in the innovation process,
   - the role of different types of family influence (ownership, management, control) in the different phases of the innovation process,
   - how enterprising families become sources of new streams of value through new products, new ventures and new markets entry, as well as discontinuous organizational configurations,
   - how family businesses contribute through unique social capital to the transfer of knowledge, collaboration, and the development of innovation systems,
   - the temporal evolution of family firms innovativeness: when do family firms undertake innovative actions, with respect to internal (e.g., succession) and external (e.g., downturn or market saturation) factors.

While submission of papers related to the main theme - Innovation, family firms and economic development - are particularly encouraged, the workshop continues its tradition to accept papers relevant to any area of family firm management and which add value to the development of the family business research field, including:
   - literature review papers focusing on key issues and topics in the family business field:
   - state-of-the-art papers that allow discussing the knowledge already acquired and the main challenges to address in future research,
   - papers that use the family firm context for contributing to the development of general management and entrepreneurship concepts and theories - comparisons between family and non-family firms, but also between different types of family firms belong to this category,
   - papers that draws on sophisticated and rigorous analysis of empirical data (both qualitative and quantitative papers are welcomed).
   - paper that introduce and develop new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of family firms 




The proposal is composed of a cover page and the body of the abstract. Please note that the proposal has to be submitted online as ONE document.
The cover page should be a separate sheet including the following information:
- Title
- Each author’s name, his/her affiliation, address, telephone, e-mail, fax
The body of the proposal will consist of an abstract of maximum 2 pages (cover page not included)
- All proposals should be single spaced, 11pt font. Times new roman or similar.
- The Abstract should include: purpose/topic of research, research method, theories used, contribution of research.


Abstract submission: 5 March 2014
Authors notification: as of 26 March 2014
Registration for authors: 23 April, 2014
Final papers: 8 May, 2014


On the 22nd of May there will be a welcome reception in the late afternoon/evening. The academic programme will start on the 23rd of May in the morning and finish in the afternoon of the 24th of May. A detailed schedule will be published in March 2014.

Special initiatives to celebrate the 10th Anniversary will be announced soon.


Several awards will be given during the workshop. More details coming soon.


  • Journal of Family Business Strategy special issue - Family Business and Regional Development. For details click here
  • Small Business Economics Journal special issue - Management Processes in the Family Firm: From “What” to “How". Fore details click here     



Università degli Studi di Bergamo,
Via Salvecchio, 19,
24129 Bergamo, Italy
Click here for more location info.

For a list of recommended hotels CLICK HERE

Information about the city of Bergamo CLICK HERE


CLICK HERE for transportation details.



For participants affiliated with an institution that is member or associate member of the EIASM's
Academic Council
300 €
For participants coming from another academic institution 390 €

Cancellations made before May 5, 2014 will be reimbursed minus 20% of the total fee. No reimbursement will be possible after that date.

Payments should be made by :

  • The following credit cards: Visa or Eurocard/Mastercard/Access



Ms. Cristina Setyar - EIASM Conference Manager
Tel: +32 2 226 66 69 - Fax: +32 2 512 19 29
Email: cristina.setyar@eiasm.be