Calls for papers


International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development
International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development


Special Issue on: "Behavioural Issues in Family Enterprises"

Guest Editors:
Bart J. Debicki, Towson University, USA
Franz W. Kellermans, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
Alexandra Dawson, Concordia University, Canada
Pramodita Sharma, University of Vermont, USA

"A combination of methodological developments over the last few decades, development of reliable scales for family businesses, and the increasing openness of family firms to lower their guard of privacy and allow researchers to examine behaviors and relationships within their enterprises makes it an exciting time to understand behavioral issues in family business. Whether your interest lies in values or goals, leadership or power, trust, justice, commitment or conflict, or in topics such as motivation (...), we promise you will find several opportunities not only to conduct research, but to publish this work in leading journals (...). Not only can you sustain your own publication career by choosing to conduct behavioral research in FBs, you can be sure to make a difference to help improve the operations of a large majority of businesses in the world."
(Gagné, Sharma and De Massis, 2014, p.11)

The majority of businesses worldwide are owned and managed by families (Gersick, Davis, Hamption and Lansberg, 1997) and the dominance of family businesses in the world’s economies is well documented (Goméz-Mejía, Nuñez-Nickel and Gutierrez, 2001; Sharma, Chrisman and Chua, 1996). This state of affairs is not likely to change in the near future (Landes, 2006) and thus the future of business worldwide will be largely shaped by the values, goals and behaviours of this prevailing form of business ownership and management.

The aim of this special issue is to explore and further our understanding of the behaviours of family businesses resulting from the values shared by family members and thus specific goals set forth by the family in such enterprises, in order to recognise their potential impact on the future of the business world.

Gagné, Sharma and De Massis (2014) have recently raised the question of how family values are transmitted to businesses and how they influence goals and behaviours in family businesses. According to Berger and Luckman (1967), behaviour is defined by values, which are transmitted through generations. Values guide the mental maps that determine goals and behaviours in organisations (Greenwood and Hinings, 1993). Behavioural issues in family firms will therefore be, to a great extent, related to the specificity of goals of the family involved in the business. During the process of formulating business development and succession plans, families will consider financial goals, growth possibilities, international expansion objectives and other economic aims.

However, the feature that often distinguishes family businesses from their non-family counterparts is the consideration of non-economic benefits of operating a business enterprise as a family (Chrisman, Sharma, Steier and Chua, 2013; Goméz-Mejía et al., 2010). The consideration of such goals will often, in turn, result in unorthodox behaviours aimed at pursuing such family firm-specific objectives, such as being able to provide employment for family members, fostering the family’s identity and reputation through the business, or contributing the transgenerational welfare of the family. Therefore, in order to encompass the specificity of behaviours in family businesses, research papers aiming to advance the knowledge of the topics listed below are especially welcome for this issue. Both quantitative and qualitative research papers are welcome.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Values in family businesses (influence of family values on business-related behaviours)
  • Relationships in family businesses (social and economic exchange relationships, personal and work relationships, employer/employee relationships)
  • TMT issues, interactions and decision-making processes
  • Leadership, power and motivation in family businesses
  • Trust and justice in family businesses
  • Conflict in family businesses (goal-related conflict and conflict resolution)
  • Temporal considerations in family businesses (family history, attitudes, motivations and emotions)
  • Team processes in family businesses (shared values, trust, cohesion)
  • Goal formulation processes; goal evolution patterns; processes facilitating goal attainment
  • Multi-dimensionality of goals in family businesses, goal diversity and goal consensus issues
  • Economic goals (profitability and profit growth objectives) and non-economic goals (socio-emotional wealth, transgenerational welfare, succession goals, family and firm identity, reputation, etc.; non-economic goals and stakeholder satisfaction)
  • Internationalisation and professionalisation objectives
  • Strategic planning and strategic renewal goals in family businesses

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Please contact the Guest Editors for further information or with any questions regarding this special issue:
Bart Debicki:
Franz Kellermanns:
Alexandra Dawson:
Pramodita Sharma:

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 30 November, 2015