Call for papers

EMLYON Business School and the Entrepreneurial Lab Research Center (ELAB), University of Bergamo are pleased to invite you to the 5th ELab Symposium – 5 June 2013, Lyon, France (Just before the Babson BCERC conference, also in Lyon)


Background and Purpose

The importance of family business to global economies is paramount. There is indeed consensus on the fact that family business worldwide is the most frequent form of organization (Faccio & Lang, 2002; Holderness, 2009; Lopez de Silanes, La Porta, & Shleifer, 1999) and makes important contributions to the global economy (Feltham, Feltham, & Barnett, 2005; Kelly, Athanassiou, & Crittenden, 2000; Shanker & Astrachan, 1996).

Recent research (Zahra & Wright, 2011; Welter, 2011) has underlined the importance of context for a better understanding of the entrepreneurial phenomenon. As note Anderson, Jack and Drakopoulou Dodd (2005) the definitions of family business and entrepreneurship have until recently been mutually exclusive, leading to a conceptual gap between the two areas of study, with the impact of the family on entrepreneurial firms understudied. Indeed, the family business literature sees the family firm as a bounded identity, businesses directly involving family members, and focuses on the particularities of these firms versus others. Taking the firm as main level of analysis has left unexplored important questions such as informal family contributions or network (Anderson et al, 2005), family entrepreneurial orientation as potential antecedent to transgenerational value creation (Zellweger, Nason and Nordqvist, 2012), or involvement in the board of directors (Sciascia, Mazzola, Astrachan, Pieper, 2013). Research has been done at the intersection of family business and strategic entrepreneurship (Lumpkin, Brigham & Moss, 2010) but not at the intersection of family, family business and entrepreneurship (Fayolle & Begin, 2009, Hoy & Sharma, 2010; Nordqvist & Melin, 2010; Uhlaner, Kellermanns, Eddleston & Hoy, 2010).

Some families have strong backgrounds in business ownership, which pass through successive generations (Fuller, 2003). As the breeding ground for entrepreneurial predispositions (Rogoff & Heck, 2003), how do these families influence their members?

The influence of the business on the family is also important because, for example, women entrepreneurs and heads of household tend to spend more on household health, nutrition and education than men (Nichter and Goldmark, 2009). In developed economies, the gender revolution (Goldscheider, 2000) has transformed the woman’s adult role structure: women assume responsibilities in both the professional and family spheres. In developing countries, females have been assigned a special role because they stand to benefit from entrepreneurship and are seen as a critical driver of entrepreneurship in light of their unique role in the household, and in light of the rise in female-headed households across the developing world (Horrell and Krishnan, 2007).

Please submit an academic paper, or extended abstract of at least seven pages. Papers can be fully developed, but we particularly encourage the submission of working papers that can benefit from our interactive workshop format. Please submit via Kathleen Randerson (kathleenranderson @

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