Millennials’ Family Business Goals


If you would you like to know the meaning that new generation of family members assign to their firms in the United Arab Emirates check the report that we prepared at Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business – American University of Sharjah.

Click here: Millennials’ Family Business Goals





Family Business in the Arab World

 Is there any lesson that can be learned from family business in the Arab World?

DSC_0964This was the question that motivated my curiosity when I decided to lead the first Family Business in the Arab World academic conference in partnership with Tharawat Family Business Forum and Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center hosted at American University of Sharjah. The two-day conference format was a successful event that gathered more than 150 participants, including academics, practitioners, business families, and students from all around the world. This conference was organized to honor Sheikh Saoud Khalid Al Qassimi’s legacy, a Sharjah businessman who founded a family business back in the 1970s that is now in its third generation.

I opened the academic day with one idea: “I believe that understanding family and business ties by exploring the cultural and historical perspective of the Arab World could bring invaluable inputs to the family business field.” Authors representing universities from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, India, Spain, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Sweden, France, Australia, Germany, Morocco, Greece, Egypt, Bahrein, Afghanistan, Italy, and Malaysia shared their research. This exchange of ideas about how the family business phenomenon is understood in different cultures within the Arab World challenged participants’ knowledge and interpretations of family business management. We discussed a variety of topics, including family business entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship, and family business ownership and management as well as the challenges the next generation of family business members face in the Arab World.

I hope that the rich and colorful debate we had will be reflected in the way we investigate and unpack the role of economic activities in family relationships in the Arab World. It is expected that the outcomes of this conference will be captured in a special issue of the Journal of Family Business Strategy titled Family Business in the Arab World, which will have four guest editors: Rania Labaki, Marcel Bogers, Norris Krueger, and myself (Rodrigo Basco).

DSC_1311The second day had a practical vision and our intention was to debate the challenges of family business in the Arab World with existing business families. We believe that interaction and idea exchange between and among generations is necessary to shape the future of the family and the firm. We are responsible for our family businesses, and this responsibility starts the moment we imagine the future vision of our families and firms.

We had three panels to discuss the future of family business in the Arab World. The first panel focused on the macro perspective to identify the conditions under which family firms operate in the region and the challenges that emerge for family firms. Arab economies are basically, at least to a certain extent, characterized by family business capitalism with differences and similarities that make the model more or less successful. For instance, the development of the UAE was based on family business along with clear leadership from the state. Family businesses are the backbone of economic and social development in this region. Even though family business capitalism has been a successful model, I wonder to what extent this model can be replicated for the future. There is an economic and social risk of being locked in a family business network without being open to future technological revolutions. It is my personal opinion that the UAE should be able to move from a family business ecosystem to an entrepreneurial family business ecosystem, and we must consider how family businesses in the region can catch up to the technological revolution while simultaneously generating new ideas.

The second panel focused on the innovation perspective at the firm level to identify how family businesses in the Arab World can be protagonist in future national and international economies. The abundance of natural resources in some Arab countries, such as those belonging to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), were the key advantage to sustain their economic and social development. Is this a successful model for the next 40 years? My answer is no. This model has to be complemented with an open vision of the economy to avoid the traditional Dutch Disease[1]. I believe that this is possible by preparing family business organizations to gradually innovate in products, services, marketing, and management, among other areas. How can we prepare family businesses in the Arab World for open innovation? Family businesses’ embeddedness in the region opens the possibility for them to lead the exchange of ideas by being part of the change. The challenge is to prepare our organizations to adopt open innovation without jeopardizing the principles and values that inspire each organization.

The last panel focused on the entrepreneurial spirit of the new generation of family members. It is in the hands of the new generation of family members in the Arab World to interpret the past, present, and future of their region, understand their position in history, and implement actions that situate their businesses as part of the change. They have to be responsible for leading their family firms and for integrating their firms into the national vision to maintain economic and social development and be part of the bigger community—the global world. The new generation of family business members in the Arab world is responsible for improving communication among family business generations, respecting tradition and preserving values and principles that are part of their culture by being open to new ideas, and leading the change to create a peaceful region with economic and social possibilities for everyone who wants to be part of this ecosystem.

What is the difference between family business in the Arab World and family business beyond?

DSC_1357The closing of the event was impressive. Anna Helen Northam gave life and voice to Hadrian’s thoughts regarding his successor (he was Roman emperor from 117 to 138). Further, in “Memories of Hadrian,” Marguerite Yourcenar argued that the basic human being condition transcends time and culture: “It is not by blood, anyhow, that man’s true continuity is established: Alexander’s direct heir is Caesar, and not the frail infant born of a Persian princess in an Astatic Citadel; Epaminondas, dying without issue, was right to boast that he had Victories for daughters. Most men who figure in history have but mediocre offspring, or worse; they seem to exhaust within themselves the resource of a race. A father’s affection is almost always in conflict with the interests of a ruler.”

We are human beings, and no matter where we are, we have similar needs, expectations, and desires; we are fragile, and we are threatened for by an unpredictable future. In this sense, family businesses across the world are the same. However, family businesses across the world differ in how they try to satisfy their needs, fulfill their expectations, achieve their desires, and fight against their own ghosts. Differences come from dissimilar cultural patterns, geographical conditions, and historical patterns, all of which make us different and make us react in different ways.

[1] Financial Times: “Dutch disease is the negative impact on an economy of anything that gives rise to a sharp inflow of foreign currency, such as the discovery of large oil reserves. The currency inflows lead to currency appreciation, making the country’s other products less price competitive on the export market”.

What is good for your family firm is good for you!

PhotoWhat is good for your family firm is good for you, but the other way around is not true,” said Sheikh Sultan Al Qassemi in the Guest Lecture Series hosted by Prof. Rodrigo Basco. “Family is about emotions and how to manage them for continuity.”

In the interactive session, titled “The Experience from Two Generations,” Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi and his nephew, Sheikh Saud Majid Al Qassimi, emphasized the importance of emotional intelligence and strategic dialogue when communicating with family members in a professional arena.

Drawing on their own experiences, the guest lecturers explained the importance for new-generation family business members to listen and to learn but to not directly confront the generation in charge. Finding alternative solutions to convince family members to implement family and/or business changes is the best way to strategically manage family businesses in the Arab world. The lesson they transmitted was “adapt your strategies to the cultural context of the Arab world. Respect tradition without confrontation, but look for opportunities to introduce changes necessary to keep your family united and the business working.” “The key to cohesion and efficiency,” Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi said, “is understanding the essence of those you’re working with.”

Saud Al Qassemi spoke about the uncertainty he experienced after graduating from university. He had assumed that he would be included within his family business after merely a few months of training. “I was wrong,” he said with a laugh. “When I asked my uncle if I could join, he simply said no.” Instead, Saud Al Qassimi spent the next couple years learning and gaining experience working in numerous banks in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore. It was only after having spent a considerable amount of time abroad that he joined his family’s business.

However, his experience, extensive as it might have seemed, was not enough to prepare him for working alongside his family. “I found out that working in a bank is a completely different experience,” he said. “Working in a family business is something else entirely. I don’t think it’s something you can actually prepare for.”

Photo 3Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi and Sheikh Saud Majid Al Qassimi’s session is one of the initiatives headed by Dr. Rodrigo Basco, Chairholder of the Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al Qassimi Chair in Family Business, aiming to disseminate new knowledge to the student community and to further develop the future leaders of family businesses in the UAE, GCC, and MENA regions.

Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business

Report 2016-2017 Family Business Chair_Page_1A fruitful and productive year of diverse activities has been completed by the Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business. The period from September 2016 to August 2017 was the first full academic year allowing our agenda to be unfolded in multiple strands following the three main pillars – research, teaching, and knowledge transfer – that were defined by Prof. Rodrigo Basco in pursuit of academic and research excellence. The past year yielded a number of substantial achievements in line with the Chair’s mission that we are pleased to share in this annual report.

Report 2016-2017 Family Business Chair


CALL FOR PAPERS – Journal of Family Business Management


Guest Editors:

Albert James, Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University, Canada

Elias Hadjielias, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus

Maribel Guerrero, Northumbria University, UK

Allan Discua Cruz, Lancaster University Management School, UK

Rodrigo Basco, American University of Sharjah, Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business, UAE

Families in business are an essential component of the socioeconomic landscape of towns, cities and regions around the world (Basco & Bartkeviciute, 2016; Guerrero et al., 2013; Howorth, Rose, Hamilton, & Westhead, 2010; Seaman, 2015). Entrepreneurial families in business can be broadly interpreted as a phenomenon where several members of a family create and develop one or more business enterprises over time (Hamilton, Discua Cruz, & Jack, 2017; Nordqvist & Melin, 2010). Our understanding of families in business to date is supported by the acknowledgement that entrepreneurship is inextricably linked to family (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003; Heck et al., 2006; Olson et al., 2003; Williams, Zorn, Russell Crook, & Combs, 2013). However, context and time have been scarcely integrated to frame the study of entrepreneurial families in business.

Time is a dimension that affects individual behavior and, consequently, those institutions, such as family and business, in which they are embedded. The objective interpretation of time, as a linear and regular pattern which is irreversible, could be used to explore and explain the start-up, development and exit of entrepreneurial economic activities of families (Drakopoulou Dodd, Anderson, & Jack, 2013) which may impact on management complexity, portfolios or spin offs and further entrepreneurial activities. Time is important because of its subjective intepretation, grounded on the meaning that cultures associate to it (Ancona, Okhuysen, & Perlow, 2001), which may alter the interpretation of the entrepreneurship phenomenon itself as well as the perception and subsequent entrepreneurial behaviour across cultures at the individual, group, and firm level. Scholars are called to understand the dynamics that motivate a family to keep a busines under family control over time (Tucker, 2011) often developing tailored managerial forms of control (Botero, Gomez Betancourt, Betancourt Ramirez, & Lopez Vergara, 2015), often challenging long standing ideologies within their firms (Johannisson & Huse, 2000). Similarly scholars are called to understant the effect of entrepreneurship on families and the desire to maintain control of their business (Jennings, Breitkreuz, & James, 2013).

Context is what is beyond the phenomenon itself, and the demarcation between them is composed of both a physical and cognitive aspects (Basco, 2015). While context has traditionally represented the formal and informal institutions that shape the phenomenon of entrepreneurial families in business (North, 1990; Scott, 1995), recent work suggests that there are multiple and overlapping embedded contexts (Basco, 2017), which may influence the practice of entrepreneurship in entrepreneurial families in business (Welter, 2011). Recently, in a study of a rural cooperative comprised of family businesses, Hadjielias & Poutziouris (2015) explored the dynamics bringing together families in business from diffferent business contexts. Their findings underscore that context is important for entrepreneurial families to engage in entrepreneurial activities collectively. Contexts such as industrial districts (Johannisson et al., 2007) and entrepreneurial environments (Guerrero et al., 2013), as well as endogenous, exogenous and temporal aspects (Wright, Chrisman, Chua, & Steier, 2014) merit close attention. Further studies around context and its physical/cognitive as well as formal/informal demarcations can help develop theories of entrepreneurial families in business and contextualise the phenomenon.

A focus on entrepreneurial families in business underscores a family perspective on entrepreneurship by considering three levels of analysis: individual, group and firm (Discua Cruz & Basco, 2017). Each level calls for interdisciplinary studies with different dimensions and relationships to be explored through time and within contexts. For example, at the individual level, the influence of family in entrepreneurship has been discussed by Aldrich and Cliff (2003) (2003), yet more work is needed to unpack how family dynamics influence the initial steps in an entrepreneurial process in particular contexts and time. Further works at the group level approach could help contextualize the interactions of family members as building blocks for creating collective rules, patterns, goals and expectations that influence a family group/team dynamics when creating or pursuing business opportunities (Discua Cruz, Hadjielias, & Howorth, 2017; Discua Cruz, Howorth, & Hamilton, 2013). Finally, at firm level, the interaction between family firm and corporate entrepreneurship needs more research in order to better understand the cross-family and cross-cultural differences that may affect corporate venturing, renewal strategies, and innovation.

In theorizing entrepreneurial families in business around time and context we attempt to advance our understanding around recent calls to explore further the link between family, context, time and entrepreneurship (Drakopoulou Dodd et al., 2013; Randerson, Bettinelli, Dosena, & Fayolle, 2015; Seaman, 2015; Welter, 2011). Thus, a special focus on generations, context, and culture for studying entrepreneurial families in business around the world is warranted. To advance understanding around entrepreneurial families in business this special issue aims to consider conceptual, qualitative and quantitative empirical studies from around the world. Theoretical and conceptual research contributions are also welcomed. As the study of entrepreneurial families in business is multidisciplinary, we encourage cross-disciplinary approaches to advance our understanding. Questions and themes that can be submitted and developed for this special issue include, yet are not limited to:

Entrepreneurial families in business

  • What are the entrepreneurial features of families in business?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business influence a transgenerational entrepreneurship behavior?
  • What kind of family identities and goals do entrepreneurial families embrace?
  • How does the entrepreneurial behaviour of families in business influence firm performance?
  • How and why do entrepreneurial families in business engage in habitual entrepreneurship behaviour?
  • Why do certain entrepreneurial families in business prefer to cooperate with other families in business?


  • How does family life cycles influence entrepreneurial families in business?
  • How business life and product life cycle affect entrepreneurial families in business?
  • How and why some families in business are more entrepreneurial than others?
  • What kind of cognitive processes do entrepreneurial families develop in order to discover and exploit opportuities?
  • How do families in business develop and sustain entrepreneurial opportunities across generations?
  • How does the perception of time by entrepreneurial families affect the dimensions of firm entrepreneurial behavior?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business address succession processes in family business?
  • How do entrepreneurial families in business influence local, regional institutions over time?
  • How does family life-cycle affect a family’s entrepreneurial activity?


  • Do features of entrepreneurial families in business vary across cultures? What kind of feature differences in terms of managerial philosophy, identities, and family goals can we find across cultures?
  • Is there any link between entrepreneurial institutions and entrepreneurial families?
  • To what extent do particular contextual dimensions (e.g formal/informal, physical/cognitive) affect entrepreneurial families?
  • What are the origins and evolution of entrepreneurial families in business families across contexts?
  • What do concepts of what family is (extent, membership, responsibilities, relationships, etc.) mean for family entrepreneurial activity?
  • How do cooperatives become contexts for the collective practice of entrepreneurship between families in business?

We invite submissions to a special issue of Journal of Family Business Management around the topic of “Entrepreneurial families in business across generations, contexts and cultures”. All papers will be subject to the usual review process and must meet the publication standards of the journal.

This special issue is a collaboration with Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC), which will be hold in Mexico in June 2018: Family Traditions & Culture: Values and legacy in Entrepreneurial Families.

Additional Information

Authors should follow the guidelines as stated in the Information for Contributors of Manuscripts. Manuscripts should be submitted to no later than September 15, 2018. Authors should indicate “Special Issue” as the manuscript type and should specify that the submission is for the special issue on “ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN BUSINESS ACROSS GENERATIONS AND CULTURES” in their cover letter. Please contact Albert James (Albert.James@Dal.Ca), Elias Hadjielias (, Maribel Guerrero (, Allan Discua Cruz (, Rodrigo Basco ( if you have any questions about the special issue.



Aldrich, H. E., & Cliff, J. E. (2003). The pervasive effects of family on entrepreneurship: toward a family embeddedness perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(5), 573–596.

Ancona, D. G., Okhuysen, G. A., & Perlow, L. A. (2001). Taking Time to Integrate Temporal Research. The Academy of Management Review, 26(4), 512–529.

Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional development-A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271.

Basco, R. (2017). Epilogue: Multiple embeddedness contexts for entrepreneurship. In M. Ramírez-Pasillas, E. Brundin, & M. Markowska (Eds.), Contextualizing Entrepreneurship in developing and emerging economies (pp. 329–336). London: Edward Edgar.

Basco, R., & Bartkeviciute, I. (2016). Is there any room form family business into European Union 2020 Strategy? Family business and regional public policy. Local Economy, 31(6), 709–732.

Botero, I. C., Gomez Betancourt, G., Betancourt Ramirez, J. B., & Lopez Vergara, M. P. (2015). Family protocols as governance tools: Understanding why and how family protocols are important in family firms. Journal of Family Business Management, 5(2), 218–237.

Discua Cruz, A., & Basco, R. (2017). A family perspective on Entrepreneurship. In N. Turcan R & Fraser (Ed.), A Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Entrepreneurship (p. forthcoming). Palgrave.

Discua Cruz, A., Hadjielias, E., & Howorth, C. (2017). Family entrepreneurial teams. In C. Ben-hafaiedh & T. Cooney (Eds.), Research Handbook on Entrepreneurial Teams: Theory and Practice (C. Ben-Haf). UK: Edward Edgar.

Discua Cruz, A., Howorth, C., & Hamilton, E. (2013). Intrafamily Entrepreneurship: The Formation and Membership of Family Entrepreneurial Teams. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(1), 17–46.

Drakopoulou Dodd, S., Anderson, A., & Jack, S. (2013). Being in time and the family owned firm. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 29(1), 35–47.

Guerrero, M., Peña-Legazkue, I., Marshall, A., Gras, G., Mira, I., & Coduras, A. (2013). Entrepreneurial activity and regional development: an introduction to this special issue. Investigaciones Regionales, 26, 5–15.

Hadjielias, E., & Poutziouris, P. (2015). On the conditions for the cooperative relations between family businesses: the role of trust. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 21(6), 867–897.

Hamilton, E., Discua Cruz, A., & Jack, S. (2017). Re-framing the status of narrative in family business research: Towards an understanding of families in business. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 8(1), 3–12.

Heck, R., Danes, S., Fitzgerald, M. A., Haynes, G., Jasper, C., Schrank, H., … Winter, M. (2006). The family’s dynamic role within family business entrepreneurship. In P. Poutziouris, K. Smyrnios, & S. Klein (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Family Business (pp. 80–124). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Howorth, C., Rose, M., Hamilton, E., & Westhead, P. (2010). Family firm diversity and development: An introduction. International Small Business Journal, 28(5), 437–451.

Jennings, J. E., Breitkreuz, R. S., & James, A. E. (2013). When Family Members Are Also Business Owners: Is Entrepreneurship Good for Families? Family Relations, 62(3), 472–489.

Johannisson, B., Caffarena, L. C., Cruz, A. F. D., Epure, M., Pérez, E. H., Kapelko, M., … Bisignano, A. (2007). Interstanding the industrial district: contrasting conceptual images as a road to insight. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 19(6), 527–554.

Johannisson, B., & Huse, M. (2000). Recruiting outside board members in the small family business: an ideological challenge. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 12(4), 353–378.

Nordqvist, M., & Melin, L. (2010). Entrepreneurial families and family firms. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22(3–4), 211–239.

North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge university press.

Olson, P. D., Zuiker, V. S., Danes, S. M., Stafford, K., Heck, R. K. Z., & Duncan, K. A. (2003). The impact of the family and the business on family business sustainability. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(5), 639–666.

Randerson, K., Bettinelli, C., Dosena, C., & Fayolle, A. (2015). Family Entrepreneurship: Rethinking the research agenda. NY: Routledge.

Scott, W. R. (1995). Institutions and organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Seaman, C. (2015). Creating space for the business family: Networks, social capital & family businesses in rural development. Journal of Family Business Management, 5(2), 182–191.

Tucker, J. (2011). Keeping the business in the family and the family in business: “What is the legacy?” Journal of Family Business Management, 1(1), 65–73.

Welter, F. (2011). Contextualizing Entrepreneurship-Conceptual Challenges and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 165–184.

Williams, D. W., Zorn, M. L., Russell Crook, T., & Combs, J. G. (2013). Passing the Torch: Factors Influencing Transgenerational Intent in Family Firms. Family Relations, 62(3), 415–428.

Wright, M., Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2014). Family Enterprise and Context. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(6), 1247–1260.



Call for Papers: Family Business & Regional Development

7th Latin America and European Meeting on Organizations Studies (LAEMOS 2018)

IAE Business School – Buenos Aires – Argentina (22nd to 24th March 2018)


Pedro Vázquez (FCE – Universidad Austral, Argentina)

Rodrigo Basco (Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business – American University of Sharjah)

Héctor Rocha (IAE, Argentina)


Family firms are the most common form of organization in the world (Bjuggren, et al., 2011; Faccio & Lang, 2002; Shanker & Astrachan, 1996) – both in developing and developed economies. Family firms are characterized by the family involvement in ownership, management and control affecting the way firms behave (Gomez-Mejia, et al., 2011) and compete (Basco, 2014). Family involvement in economic activities makes family firms being among the world’s oldest firms (The Economist, 2015), to focus more on resilience than performance (Kachaner, et al., 2012), to perform better than non-family firms (Mazzi, 2011) in some contexts, and to have a particular inclination for social issues (Van Gils, et al., 2014; Vazquez, 2016). However, on the other hand, there is a high mortality among family firms during the management succession process from one generation to another, there is a lack of professionalization (Bloom & Van Reenen, 2010) that pushes them to compete in sub-markets and, in some countries, family business tend to control country strategic resources (Morck & Yeung, 2004) increasing social and economic inequality (Fogel, 2006). Consequently, family involvement in economic activities has a paradoxical view as a resilient/rigid organization – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect (Basco, 2015) – with positive and negative effect for economic development(Basco & Bartkeviciute, 2016).

The field of family business has gained significant external legitimacy (Chrisman, et al., 2003; Pérez Rodríguez & Basco, 2011) since its inception by analyzing the family effect on the firm (firm-familiness effect), but a macro understanding of the family firm on regional economic and and social development has hardly being investigated (Stough, et al., 2015). To date, the regional familiness model (Basco, 2015) posits that family firms’ embeddedness in social, economic, and productive structures may affect the geographical dynamics (e.g., factors of production, regional processes, and dimensions of proximity) responsible for social and economic development. However, several questions remain open and unexplored.

The aim of this track is to address the call made by Stough, Welter, Block, Wennberg, and Basco (2015) to further investigate the role that family firms plays in regional development, entrepreneurship and clusters (Rocha 2015; 2004). Through studies about how, when, and under what circumstances the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde effect emerges, the special track will help expand our understanding of family business through the researchers’ findings about the applicability of extant theories and empirical evidence from developing and developed economies. In addition, this special track can help us develop newly grounded theories to achieve a better understanding of family business and regional development.

Questions and themes that can be submitted and developed for this special track include, yet are not limited to:

  • How do national and regional contexts in Latin America affect resilience of family firms?
  • How do family firms contribute to regional development, specifically in terms of regional employment and innovation?
  • What causal mechanisms underlie the role of family firms in regional development?
  • Do family firms care more than other firms about the region in which they are located?
  • Which characteristics of family firms (e.g., management, ownership, control) matter?
  • What is the role of the founder, and what is the role of succeeding family generations?
  • What is the role of family-owned businesses in the region in which they are located?
  • Which regional policies help family firms grow? Which regions attract family firms, and which do not?
  • Which regional conditions foster family firm development? Which barriers do family firms experience at the regional level?
  • How can family firms benefit from a strong regional entrepreneurial orientation?
  • How do family firms affect regional competitiveness?
  • How do family firms contribute to the development and formation of industrial clusters and regional milieus?
  • What ethical dilemmas arise for families in business in the context of adverse situations? How do family firms and business families deal with ethical issues?
  • How do some governance-related characteristics such as autocracy, entrenchment, nepotism, and resistance to change affect family business resilience?

LAEMOS is the premier conference on Latin American and European Organization Studies. Its purpose is to strengthen the Latin America-Europe scholarly link by encouraging interdisciplinary studies of organizations in Latin American and European societies. LAEMOS Conference “Organizing for Resilience: Scholarship in Unsettled Times” will take place from 22nd to 24th March 2018 at IAE Business School, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Authors will be able to submit their abstracts (1.000 words) through the website until September 30, 2017 (SUB-02: Family Business and Regional Development). Notifications of acceptance will be provided by early December 2017. Please do not hesitate to contact Pedro Vázquez ( and the organizing committee ( should you need any clarification or further assistance.

Publication opportunities. Journal of Family Business Management Special Issue on “ENTREPRENEURIAL FAMILIES IN BUSINESS ACROSS GENERATIONS, CONTEXTS AND CULTURES”. Guest Editors: Albert James, Rowe School of Business, Dalhousie University, Canada, Elias Hadjielias, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus, Maribel Guerrero, Northumbria University, UK, Allan Discua Cruz, Lancaster University Management School, UK, Rodrigo Basco, American University of Sharjah, Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business, UAE.


Basco, R. (2014). Exploring the influence of the family upon firm performance: Does strategic behaviour matter? International Small Business Journal, 32(8), 967–995.

Basco, R. (2015). Family Business and Regional Development. A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271.

Basco, R., & Bartkeviciute, I. (2016). Is there any room form family business into European Union 2020 Strategy? Family business and regional public policy. Local Economy, 31(6), 709–732.

Bjuggren, C. M., Johansson, D., & Sjögren, H. (2011). A Note on Employment and Gross Domestic Product in Swedish Family-Owned Businesses: A Descriptive Analysis. Family Business Review, 24(4), 362–371.

Bloom, N., & Van Reenen, J. (2010). Why Do Management Practices Differ across Firms and Countries? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(1), 203–224.

Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2003). An introduction to theories of family business. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(4), 441–448.

Faccio, M., & Lang, L. H. P. (2002). The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations. Journal of Financial Economics, 65(3), 365–395.

Fogel, K. (2006). Oligarchic family control, social economic outcomes, and the quality of government. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(5), 603–622.

Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Cruz, C., Berrone, P., & De Castro, J. (2011). The Bind that Ties: Socioemotional Wealth Preservation in Family Firms. The Academy of Management Annals, 5, 653–707.

Kachaner, N., Stalk, G., & Bloch, A. (2012). What you can learn from family business. Harvard Business Review, 90(11), 102-106.

Mazzi, C. (2011). Family business and financial performance: Current state of knowledge and future research challenges. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2(3), 166–181.

Morck, R. K., & Yeung, B. (2004). Family control and the rent-seeking society. Entrepreneurship-Theory and Practice, 28(4), 391–409.

Perez Rodriguez, M. J., & Basco, R. (2011). The cognitive legitimacy of the family business field. Family Business Review, 24(4).

Rocha, H. (2015). Do clusters matter to firm and regional development and growth? Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, 13(1), 83–123.

Rocha, H. O. (2004). Entrepreneurship and development: The role of clusters. Small Business Economics, 23(5), 363–400.

Shanker, M. C., & Astrachan, J. H. (1996). Myths and Realities: Family Businesses’ Contribution to the US Economy— A Framework for Assessing Family Business Statistics. Family Business Review, 9(2), 107–123.

Stough, R., Welter, F., Block, J., Wennberg, K., & Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional science: “Bridging the gap.” Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4).

The Economist. (2015). Family Companies – To have and to hold. Special Report. April, 18th.

Van Gils, A., Dibrell, C., Neubaum, D. O., & Craig, J. B. (2014). Social Issues in the Family Enterprise. Family Business Review, 27(3), 193–205.

Vazquez, P. (2016). Family Business Ethics: At the Crossroads of Business Ethics and Family Business. Journal of Business Ethics, 1–19.

Contextualizing Family Firms in the Arab World


Logo Rodrigo fondo transparente1st International Academic Conference

7th and 8th March 2018

 Call for papers:  “Contextualizing Family Firms in the Arab World”

Arab family firms cannot be fully understood without considering the context in which families and firms exist. While contexts determine organizational behavior (Johns, 2006), the footprints of family firms recursively manifest themselves in regional socio-economic contexts (Basco, 2015). Therefore, to fully understand the Arab family firm phenomenon, scholars must go beyond its boundaries by recognizing and exploring the multiple embeddedness of family firms in general. We must consider the micro-context of the family, the meso-context of the industry, and the macro-context of the country/region, all of which are characterized by paradoxes of conflict and peace, stability and instability, certainty and uncertainty, and modernity and tradition (Basco, 2017).

In the Arab World, socio-economic activities have traditionally been embedded in kinship relationships in Bedouin, rural, and urban societies. Families are the dominant institutions through which individuals transmit their culture, legacy, religion, expectations, and traditions and interact in society (Barakat, 1993) by creating their own identity. In this context, Arab families act as a filter absorbing changes caused by contemporary economies, social and economic globalization forces, societal conflicts, political transformations, the influence of the recent colonial past, and cultural pressures from Western and Eastern cultures.

Even though the family business field has gained external legitimacy (Chrisman, Chua, & Steier, 2003; Perez Rodriguez & Basco, 2011), the lack of an overall family business theory is mainly due to the shortage of studies integrating contextual dimensions. A theory of family firms “must explain and predict not only the interaction between family and business systems at the individual and family firm levels but also the interaction between family firms and the environment at the aggregate level” (Basco, 2015, p. 260). In this sense, contextualizing the family firm in the Arab World could help clarify firm familiness (Gomez-Mejia, Cruz, Berrone, & De Castro, 2011; Habbershon & Williams, 1999), which focuses on the effect family has on firm behavior and performance, and regional familiness (Stough, Welter, Block, Wennberg, & Basco, 2015), which focuses on the family firm’s effect on regional development.

The aim of this conference is to advance previous efforts to contextualize the family firm phenomenon in different institutional and cultural environments (e.g., Gupta, Levenburg, Moore, Motwani, & Schwarz, 2008), particularly in the Arab World (e.g., Bizri, 2016; Fahed-Sreih & Djoundourian, 2006; Welsh & Raven, 2006).

We invite submissions to the conference titled “Conceptualizing Family Firms in the Arab World.” The purpose of the conference is to gather researchers who are investigating the family firm phenomenon in the Arab World. We expect that contextualizing family firms in the Arab World will shed new light on the nuances of family firms in terms of their phenomenological perspectives and theoretical development.

Submission Guidelines and deadline

We encourage scholars, especially PhD students and young researchers, whose research focuses directly or indirectly on family businesses in the Arab World to submit their works in progress at different stages. Abstract submission should be one document with a cover page (title, author’s name, affiliation, email) and a two-page abstract (topic of research, theories, method, results, contributions)

Abstract submission should be sent electronically to

Deadline Abstract by 30/11/2017

Authors Notification by 31/12/2017

Final papers (final submission) by 31/01/2018


Conference Highlights

Travel Research Grants

The Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business offers six scholarships for PhD students from the Arab World to travel to and attend the conference. Potential candidates who would like to apply for a travel/accommodation grant should send their application letter and CV with their abstract submission by 30/11/2017.

Career Academy

We have designed a special event for PhD students and young scholars called the Career Academy Workshop to discuss the challenges of developing an academic career in the Arab World. Topics will include matters related to earning a PhD, building an academic career, publishing research, and building local and international networks.

Special Issue

In collaboration with Journal Family Business Strategy, papers presented at the conference will be eligible for a special topic section, “Contextualizing Family Firms in the Arab World.”


There is no registration fee.

Tentative Program 

Academic Conference: 7th of March, 2018 – Keynote speakers – Plenary sessions

Business Family Conference: 8th of March, 2018 – Keynote speakers and panel sessions


American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


Rodrigo Basco (American University of Sharjah), Alreem Al Ammari (American University of Sharjah), and Farida El Agamy (Tharawat Family Business Forum)


 Aus logo (colour)                                                             JFBS

  TFBF Logo - original - 2017                                Sheraa


Barakat, H. (1993). The Arab World. Society, culture, and state. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional development-A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271.

Basco, R. (2017). The multiple embeddedness of family firms in Arab World. In S. Basly, P.-L. Saunier, & A. Marouane (Eds.), Family Businesses in the Arab World – Governance, Strategy, and Financing (p. forthcoming).

Bizri, R. (2016). Succession in the family business: drivers and pathways. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 22(1), 133–154.

Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2003). An introduction to theories of family business. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(4), 441–448.

Fahed-Sreih, J., & Djoundourian, S. (2006). Determinants of longevity and success in Lebanese family businesses: An exploratory study. Family Business Review, 19(3), 225–234.

Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Cruz, C., Berrone, P., & De Castro, J. (2011). The Bind that Ties: Socioemotional Wealth Preservation in Family Firms. Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 653–707.

Gupta, V., Levenburg, N., Moore, L., Motwani, J., & Schwarz, T. V. (2008). Culturally-sensitive models of family business in Germanic Europe. Hyderabad, India: ICFA University Press.

Habbershon, T. G., & Williams, M. L. (1999). A Resource-Based Framework for Assessing the Strategic Advantages of Family Firms. Family Business Review, 12(1), 1–25.

Johns, G. (2006). The Essential Impact of Context on Organizational Behavior. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 386–408.

Perez Rodriguez, M. J., & Basco, R. (2011). The cognitive legitimacy of the family business field. Family Business Review, 24(4).

Stough, R., Welter, F., Block, J., Wennberg, K., & Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional science: “Bridging the gap.” Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 208–218.

Welsh, D. H. B., & Raven, P. (2006). Family business in the Middle East: An exploratory study of retail management in Kuwait and Lebanon. Family Business Review, 19(1), 29–48.

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