Centre for Family Business Management

The Centre for Family Business Management is based in the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and is a reference point, both locally and internationally, for research, education and knowledge transfer activities in the field of family business. Family businesses are the most ubiquitous form of business organization in any world economy, and especially in Italy and South Tyrol, where family businesses traditionally drive entrepreneurial activity and play a leading role in social and economic wealth creation.

The Centre conducts international and interdisciplinary research, in collaboration with other research institutes, on the distinctive organizational goals, strategic processes, innovation, succession, and outcomes engendered by family involvement in business. By combining academic research excellence and practical relevance, the Centre has the ambition to become a natural partner for both international scholars and owners and managers of family businesses and business families, as well as for advisors and other actors interested in family enterprising.



The Centre produces rigorous and impactful research publications in the field of family enterprise studies, hosts gatherings and symposia of family business scholars, family entrepreneurs and policy makers, contributes to undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral education in the area of family business, organizes international workshops and conferences attracting the leading scholars in the field, and exploits partnerships with other family business centers around the world. The results of this research are made available to family business leaders and business families.


Education & Knowledge Transfer

The Centre aims to become an important reference point for family business education at various levels and a partner for policy makers interested in the policy-making implications of family business research. As such, it develops and disseminates knowledge on family businesses and business families. Core topics are: family-driven innovation and growth strategies, generational transitions and leadership succession, innovation through tradition, digitalization of family firms, family-centered goals and goal setting processes, strategic management and internationalization of family firms, governance, entrepreneurial families and family entrepreneurial teams, alliances and relationship management, and sustainability and social issues in family enterprising.


Areas of interest

  • Generational transitions and leadership succession
  • Innovation in family businesses and innovation through tradition
  • Digitalization and technology management in family businesses
  • Family goals and their role in the decision-making processes
  • Strategic management and internationalization of family firms
  • Growth strategies and entrepreneurial development across generations
  • Family businesses’ governance e professionalization
  • Alliances and relations’ and social capital’s management in family firms
  • Sustainability, philanthropy, and ethical and social concerns in family businesses


Contacts & info
Director, Prof. Alfredo De Massis
Faculty of Economics and Management
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Piazza Università 1,
39100 Bolzano

Phone: +39 0471 013303
E-Mail: alfredo.demassis@unibz.it


Our team



  • CeFEO - CeFEO - Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership of Jönköping International Business School (Jönköping, Sweden)
  • Center for Family Business at the University of St.Gallen (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
  • Centre for Family Business at Lancaster University (Lancaster, UK)
  • Family Business Center at Management Center Innsbruck (Innsbruck, Austria)
  • Friedrichshafen Institute for Family Entrepreneurship at Zeppelin University (Friedrichshafen, Germany)
  • Institute for Family Business (London, UK)
  • Institute of Family Business at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management (Vallendar, Germaniy)
  • Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa, Italy)
  • CNA – Conferederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato e della Piccola e Media Impresa
  • apa Wirtschaftsverband Handwerk und Dienstleister – Confartigianato Imprese
  • AoM – Academy of Management
  • FERC – Family Enterprise Research Conference
  • FFI – Family Firm Institute
  • IFERA – International Family Enterprise Research Academy
  • European Academy of Managemet (EURAM)
  • Politecnico di Milano School of Management (Milan, Italy)


Some ongoing research projects:

  • Leading family business Re-Generation
  • Working retirees and succession in family SMEs
  • Innovation through tradition in family businesses
  • Family firms’ growth dynamics
  • Family firms’ diversification decisions
  • The functioning of Board of Directors and governance systems in family firms