Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

19th Theories of Family Enterprise Conference

Mississippi State University, the Florida State University College of Entrepreneurship, the University of Memphis, and the Rowan University School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship are excited to announce the 19th edition of the Theories of Family Enterprise Conference scheduled April 3-5, 2025 in partnership with Family Business Review.


Conference Committee

  • James Vardaman, University of Memphis
  • Ben McLarty, Louisiana Tech University
  • Eric Liguori, Florida State University
  • Jessica Vattima, Rowan University
  • Josh Daspit, Texas State University
  • Donald Neubaum, Florida Atlantic University
Email address for questions 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 19th 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 10-12 full manuscripts. Therefore, the submission and review process will be highly competitive.

Up to two authors from each selected paper will receive complimentary lodging and meals for the nights of April 3th through 5th at the conference hotel (see location details below). All attendees are responsible for their own travel to/from the conference venue. While there is no “registration fee” to participate in the conference, we do ask that each participant register in advance once they have been accepted and submit a minimal deposit to ensure their hotel reservation. The conference's peer review process will constitute the first round of reviews for publication consideration in Family Business Review (ABDC A, Impact Factor = 9.9), 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 2025 conference will be hosted by Florida State University and held at their campus in Florence, Italy ( Conference participants will stay at the B&B HOTEL Florence Pitti Palace ( at the Ponte Vecchio in the historic downtown district of the city.


Tentative Schedule

Thursday, April 3

  • 6:30pm-7:30pm: Opening reception

Friday, April 4

  • 9am-4:30pm: Academic Program / Paper Presentations 
  • 6pm-9pm: Dinner & Cocktails

Saturday, April 5

  • 9am-2pm: Academic Program / Paper Presentations 
  • 2pm: Official end of the academic program
  • 3pm: Travel to a local Italian Family Business for a Learning Journey in the Tuscan Countryside 
  • 7pm-10pm: Awards Dinner at a historic Florentine Family Business Restarurant 

Submission Deadlines, Rules & Full Paper Information

Five-page extended abstracts should be submitted starting September 1st through the FBR submission portal: and no later than 11:59pm EST on September 30, 2024. Please adhere to the following submission guidelines:

  • Be sure to select “Theories of Family Business Special Issue” as the submission type).
  • 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.  
  • 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 Family Business Review submission guidelines remain in full effect.
Decision letters and invitations for selected authors to develop full papers and participate in the conference will be sent by November 1, 2024. Full papers will be due March 1, 2025. Questions? Email the Conference Committee at