The 8th annual EIASM Family Firm Research Conference was organized at Jönköping International Business School, 31 May — 2 June. The theme for this year's conference was "The family business: A beauty or a beast", and attracted some 90 participants from around the world.
During the research conference, 49 different research-based papers and two keynote speeches were presented.
— It was a very successful conference with many interesting guests and speakers. The absolute highlights for me were the two keynotes by Professor Arist von Schlippe and Professor Cristina Cruz, says Mattias Nordqvist, Hamrin International Professor in Family Business, and Co-Director of CeFEO (the Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership).
Leif Melin, Professor and Director of CeFEO, was responsible for the conference and he also points to the interesting message of the two keynote presenters:
— Professor von Schlippe, with a background in family therapy, showed how families can be both a coherent entrepreneurial family in harmony and at the same time a family where business can be threatened by family conflicts. Professor Cruz described a new approach to understanding the uniqueness of the family business by emphasizing that the family's motivation is to build up, not just a financial base, but also a socio-emotional wealth over several generations, says Leif Melin.
Mattias Nordqvist was also involved in the organizing committee and he was chairman of the group that selected the workshop´s best paper, "Private Equity Investments in family business: an empirical investigation of the organizational metamorphosis" by Goetz Muller and Arist Von Schlippe from Germany.
— The exciting thing with this type of research presentations is that many different views can come up, and that people do not always agree. This is a good and important breeding ground for further academic debate, says Mattias.
The European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (EIASM) is an international network of research and learning in management, which includes a very large number of researchers. EIASM organizes some 80 conferences yearly that deal with different parts of Business Administration. The annual EIASM-workshop on family firm research has become an important forum for academics where new research in Europe and worldwide is discussed. Next year this conference will be held in Finland and the following year in Italy.