Organized entirely online, during the months of May and June, the IFERA Summer School provides the opportunity to deepen the participants’ methodological skills with regards to selection and application of qualitative and quantitative methods in the context of family business research. The Summer School is structured with the format of a Doctoral Course organized by CeFEO and Jönköping International Business School.

The IFERA Summer School is open to doctoral students currently enrolled in a doctoral program in business administration or a related subject of a recognized business school or university. Participants that have already earned a PhD degree are also welcomed to apply to the Summer School. The number of seats is however limited, and PhD students are prioritized in the application preocess.

This doctoral course aims to provide an overview of selected major methods streams in family business research, provide a basis for choosing theoretical perspectives for a dissertation project and serves as a starting point for undertaking the process of data collection and analysis.

Upon the competition of the Summer School, 3 credits at doctoral education level will be recognized to the participants by Jönköping International Business School (accredited by AACSB and EQUIS).

summer school process

Class of 2021

Thirty doctoral students, from 24 different academic institutions located in 14 countries, participated to the first edition of the Summer School from May 4 to June 15, 2021.

Click here to see the Alumni.

Organizing Team

A close collaboration between CeFEO and IFERA and the power of this combined network, allowed to involved an incredible number of family business scholars in the Summer School. Among the 46 scholars part of this journey, 8 CeFEO Faculty Members and 3 CeFEO Affiliated Members.

The members of the Organizing Team are:

  • Massimo Baù, Director of the Summer School and Course Examiner
  • Josh Hsueh, Corse Coordinator and responsible of the assignents
  • Sabrina Schell, Coordinator of the Tutoring Program
  • Mattias Walkirch, Coordinator of the Shark Tank
  • Emanuela Rondi, IFERA Research Development Chair
  • Valentina Re, IFERA Executive Director

organising team


Teaching Team

Some of the top scholar in the field introduced the doctoral students to the most relevant and challenging topics of family business research methods. The course cosists in 15 sessions:

  • Research problem – Alfredo De Massis
  • Meeting the tutors – Sabrina Shell & Tutors
  • Research Philosophy – Markus Plate & Massimo Baù
  • Literature Review – Emanuela Rondi
  • Qualitative data collection – Nadine Kammerlander
  • Experiment – Reinhard Prügl & Max Lude
  • Quantitative data collection – Cristina Cruz & Lucia Naldi
  • Introduction to the Shark Tank – Matthias Waldkirch, Sabrina Shell & Josh Hsueh
  • Qualitative data analysis – Josip Kotlar
  • QCA – Ryan Rumble
  • Quantitative data analysis – Francesco Chirico & Massimo Baù
  • Research dissemination – Joseph Astrachan & Torsten Pieper
  • Shark tank semi-finals – Matthias Waldkirch & Judges
  • Wrap up Massimo Baù, Sabrina Shell & Josh Hsueh
  • Shark tank finals Matthias Waldkirch & Judges

teaching team


Tutoring Team

Each Doctoral Student is accompanied in the process by a Tutor. Tutors can provide insight into their own career development and share tips and tricks. They can also can assist in getting best involved in the family business research community and identify opportunities.
They help with Shark Tank preparation and provide general tips on writing a dissertation and building an academic career.

tutoring team

Shark Team

Doctoral students are invited to slip into the role of a researcher entrepreneur and receive intellectual funding for their idea! A good research pitch works in many ways like an entrepreneurial idea: spot an opportunity, orchestrate resources, convince the target audience, and put the idea into practice. As the last part of the Summer School, Doctoral Students pitch their ideas in a Shark Tank and compete for the final award.



And the journey continues...

The academic journey of the participants to the Summer School continue with a number of inititives:

Moreover, the last assignment for the Summer School is the submission of a Long Abstract for new resaerch project developed during the Summer School. The abstract can be submitted to the forthcoming EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Management Research that takes place in Fall and represent an ideal forum for discussing new resarch ideas and pitching papers that will be finalized and submitted in January to next year conferences (e.g. IFERA, EURAM, and AOM).