Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

17th Annual Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

Mississippi State University, the University of Memphis, and the Rowan University School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship are excited to announce the 17th Annual Theories of Family Enterprise Conference scheduled March 30 - April 1, 2023 in partnership with the Journal of Small Business Management.

Sponsors listed for Family Enterprise Conference: Mississippi State University (presenting sponsor) University of Memphis (supporting sponsor) Rowan University (supporting sponsor)

Conference Committee

  • James Vardaman, University of Memphis
  • Ben McLarty, Mississippi State University
  • Esra Memilli, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Josip Kotlar, Politecnico di Milano
  • Eric Liguori, Rowan University
Official email address of the Conference Committee:

Call for Submissions

Family firms continue to be an important domain of study in the organization sciences. In terms of numbers, family businesses represent a dominant form of economic organization throughout the world. Therefore, family business scholarship is needed to create generalizable theory across the spectrum of organizations. Family business research is receiving attention from scholars across the globe, providing an increasing body of knowledge that still has many unanswered questions.

The purpose of this limited-attendance conference, now being held for the 17th time, is to further improve our understanding of family firms by promoting development of theories and the accumulation of empirical evidence pertaining to that organizational form. The conference is intended to bring a small number of the leading scholars from mainstream disciplines such as strategic management, organization theory, organizational behavior, finance, economics, entrepreneurship, etc. together with a small number of the leading scholars in family business management in order to explore theories, research, and interdisciplinary perspectives on family businesses.

Leading scholars are invited to prepare 5-page abstracts on family business utilizing a variety of perspectives. For example, property rights theory, stewardship theory, stakeholder theory, agency theory, institutional theory, prospect theory, resource-based theory, transaction cost theory, justice theories, and network theory, all potentially inform our understanding of family enterprise. Likewise, family business as viewed from the conceptual lens of fields such as strategic management, entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, economics, and sociology should further contribute to this goal. However, the final list of topics to be covered at the conference will be determined by the interests of the selected presenters. The submitted abstracts will be evaluated by the organizing team and select author(s) will be invited to submit full manuscripts based on their ideas to present at the in-person conference.

For each paper, the author team will receive feedback from conference participants to help them further illuminate and explore the contributions of their work. In all, the conference aims to consist of 12-15 full manuscripts. Therefore, the submission and review process will be highly competitive.

Up to two authors from each selected paper will receive complimentary lodging for the nights of March 30th and 31st at the conference hotel (see location details below). All attendees are responsible for their own travel to/from the conference venue. There is no fee to participate in the conference, but registration is limited only to authors of accepted papers. The conference's peer review process will constitute the first round of reviews for publication consideration in the Journal of Small Business Management (ABDC A, Impact Factor = 6.88), fast-tracking selected papers forward in the publication process. 

Best Conference Paper Awards

The Theories of Family Enterprise Conference offers two awards, one in honor of conference founder Jim Chrisman and the other in memory of family business scholar Danny Holt:
  • James J. Chrisman Contribution to Theory Award
  • Daniel T. Holt Best Paper Award


The conference is being hosted by the Rowan University School of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Located in Glassboro, NJ, Rowan's main campus is an easy Uber/Lyft/taxi ride from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Accepted participants will be housed at the Courtyard Marriott Rowan University

Tentative Schedule (last updated 1/10/23)

Thursday, March 30

  • 6:00pm-7:30pm: Opening reception and heavy hors d'oeuvres at historic Hollybush Mansion.
  • Dinner on your own on Rowan Boulevard.

Friday, March 31

  • 8am-4:30pm: Academic Program / Paper Presentations 
  • 12:00pm: City Council Family Business Proclamation
  • 4:30pm-5:00pm: Best Paper Awards Ceremony
  • 6pm-9pm: Awards Dinner

Saturday, April 1

  • 9am-1pm: Academic Program / Paper Presentations 
  • 1pm: Official end of the academic program
  • 1:30pm-10:00pm: Optional Atlantic City Learning Journey

Submission Deadlines, Rules & Full Paper Information

Five-page extended abstracts should be submitted through the JSBM submission portal by 11:59pm EST on November 20, 2022. Please adhere to the following submission guidelines:

  • Extended abstracts should not exceed five double-spaced pages, excluding references, tables, and figures. Full papers are not being considered at this time.  
  • When submitting please identify all authors and affiliations in the submission system only; the extended abstract itself should not contain any author-identifying information.  
  • When submitting, under the "Manuscript Details" header in the submission system, please select "yes" for the submission being intended for a special issue, and then choose "Family Enterprise" from the corresponding dropdown menu. This is essential to ensuring your submission gets routed to the Family Enterprises committee for review.
  • Only submissions made through the submission system will be considered.
  • A rule-of-two is in effect - no individual author may be listed on more than two submissions. 
  • All Journal of Small Business Management submission guidelines and editorial policies remain in full effect.
Decision letters and invitations for selected authors to develop full papers and participate in the conference will be sent by December 20, 2022. Full papers will be due March 1, 2023. Questions? Email the Conference Committee at