Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

CEFE's Theories of Family Enterprise Academic Conference

Family firms have received scant attention in the main stream literature, particularly with respect to the development of theories of the firm. This neglect is unfortunate and puzzling for two reasons. First, in terms of numbers family businesses represent a dominant form of economic organization throughout the world. Therefore, scholarship that neglects to consider the vast majority of business enterprises cannot hope to be generalizable to any but a small segment of the population of organizations. Second, the neglect is unnecessary because many of the theories that have been developed have applications to family firms. Scholarship's failure to recognize, embrace, and deliberately incorporate family businesses may lead to factors being missed that would otherwise make existing theories more robust and valuable to family and nonfamily firms alike.

The purpose of this conference is to fill these gaps in our understanding and applications of theories of the firm. We invite a small number of leading scholars from mainstream disciplines such as strategic management, economics, sociology, organization theory, finance, entrepreneurship, etc. together with a small number of the leading scholars in family business management in order to explore the application of prominent theories of the firm and interdisciplinary perspectives to the context of family businesses.


2001 Conference Participants
2001 Conference Participants


Year Location Special Issue
2017 University of St.Gallen, St.Gallen, Switzerland  
2016 U of Alberta, Edmonton   
2013 Imperial College, London, UK  
2012 U of Alberta, Edmonton   
2011 WHU, Germany  2012 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 36/6
2010 U of Alberta, Edmonton 2011 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 35/6


Northeastern, Boston 2010 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34/6
2008 U of Alberta, Edmonton 2009 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 33/6
2007 U of Mississippi State 2008 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 32/6
2005 U of Alberta, Edmonton 2006 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 30/6
2003 U of Calgary 2005 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 29/3
2002 Wharton, U of Pennsylvania 2004 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 28/4
2001 U of Alberta, Edmonton 2003 Journal of Business Venturing, 18/4
2003 Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 27/4