» IPAG Family Business Institute (IFBI)


Prof. Andrea Calabrò


IFBI – IPAG Family Business Institute – is an international research and practice-transfer competence institute at IPAG Business School. Located in the heart of Europe, with its Paris campus, and at the center of the Mediterranean, with its Nice campus, it aims to conduct rigorous and excellent research in the field of Family Business. Believing in engaged research which is relevant for family business owners and managers and society at large, the IFBI aims at disseminating research findings to practice and to get from real-world family businesses insights upon which building new theories.

The IPAG Family Business Institute (IFBI) wants to be the main reference point for FAMILY BUSINESS research, teaching and practice-transfer. Academic excellence is at the center but without neglecting practice relevance. We strive for “academic relevance” and aim to contribute to the field of Family Business engaging academics from all over the world, family business owners and managers, policy-makers, students, and the society at large.

To reach academic relevance the IFBI envisions to promote the development of multidisciplinary and multicultural research. The IFBI promotes research by also facilitating and nurturing collaboration and network at an international level. IFBI engages family business owners, managers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners in a continuous exchange and within a protected environment to discuss and learn from each other in connection with the most updated and relevant insights from research.


The Team

Georges Iskandar Samara

Affiliate Research Fellow


Rosalia Santulli

Affiliate Research Fellow


Claudia Pongelli

Affiliate Research Fellow


Stefania Masè

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Communication


Elisa Conti

Assistant Professor of Economics


Andrea Calabrò

Full Professor of Family Business and Entrepreneurship


Vi Dung Ngo

Affiliate Research Fellow


Julia Vincent-Ponroy

Assistant Professor of Management


Main activities

Main activities

Current research projects

Navigating the conundrum of family leadership succession

What drives succession choices in family firms? What are the performance implications of each succession choice? These are questions of vital relevance for every business owner. The focus is on the pool of potential family heirs, the planning and governance of succession processes, aiming to add to the debate on the drivers of succession choices and consequences.

Internationalizing family firms: from global to “glocal”

Exploring the different behaviors and processes of internationalizing family firms which are of extreme importance to family firms’ owners and managers is one fundamental research line of the IFBI. The main focus is on (among others): how does family firms’ heterogeneity impact their international behaviors and paths? Which is the impact of incoming generations on family firms’ international growth?

Who are we (WAW)? Shaping family firm identity over time

What does it mean for family members to identify with their family firm? And, what does it mean for non-family members? How to keep the family and the firm identity across generations? “Who Are We” (WAW) aims at better understanding what are family firms’ specific identity features and how is a family firm identity formed and maintained over time.

Women in family firms: how daughters become the boss

In the age of globalization and digitalization, the role of women in society is changing rapidly. It is more common to have daughters who take over their family firms even in classical manufacturing industries. Understanding the antecedents of those succession choices and the related degree of commitment towards them is part of one of the IFBI’s research directions. The role of mothers and parental role modelling is also explored

Looking at the other side: Asian family firms through corporate governance and institutions

The aim is to contribute to the understanding of institutional complementarities that constitute informal governance mechanisms (e.g., political connections, personal networks, cultural values) adopted by Asian family firms (e.g., China, India, and Vietnam) by considering a wider set of institutional factors (i.e. political environment, cultural values, social norms) embedded in the Asian context.

Branding strategies’ implications on family firms’ entrepreneurial action

The aim is to provide a framework which helps categorizing family firms’ brands and logos based on their features (e.g., color, shape, what is represented, type of words). Why are some family firms’ logo the way they are? What they intend to communicate? Is there any relationship between those logos and degree of risk-taking of those companies? How does a good logo increase family firms’ competitive advantage?

Strategy models of family businesses in luxury and fashion

Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton are just few of the companies (mostly family-owned) which have designed particular business models in the luxury and fashion industry allowing them to survive different threats. Which are the special features of those business models? How to they differ from each other? The aim is to untangle their business models, their unique value propositions, the architecture behind, and the role of the owning family.

The international family business research forum (IFBRF)

The IFBRF provides a unique platform for developing family business research in a structured, stimulating, challenging and friendly environment. The Forum aims to address questions such as: (a) what are the underlying unexpressed research questions that may help to move the field one step forward? (b) Which theories should we use to explain the behavior and identity of business families and family firms? (c) Which are the contributions we should disseminate among family owners, managers and business families? We invite submissions from the international family firm research community, to discuss together the state of the art of the research on family firms and to develop the ideas presented in the Forum for leading international journals. Call for paper: download.

Visiting research professor and young researchers program

IFBI welcomes scholars from all over the world for short, medium, and long-term research stays. The aim is to foster collaboration, promote scholarship especially for young researchers and create network and exchange opportunities across cultures and contexts to promote family business research and practice. We are happy to welcome and support scholars within our campuses (Paris and Nice). Applications for the “IFBI Visiting Research Professor and Young Researchers Program” are accepted every year in September.

Subconference on family business research at IRMBAM

The subconference on Family Business Research organized at the International Research Meeting in Business and Management (IRMBAM) welcomes both theoretical and empirical contributions on family business research, with emphasis on management and governance; entrepreneurial behaviors and dynamics; succession; internationalization; innovation; financing choices; emotional dynamics and conflict management; as well as empirical and theoretical studies which help bringing forward the understanding of the family business phenomenon across different countries and cultures.

Successful transgenerational entrepreneurial practices (STEP) project

Through its affiliates the IFBI is actively participating in the STEP project by researching and promoting the practices of transferring the entrepreneurial spirit towards the next family generations. We thus recognize the importance of passing on the entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities that will enable the next generations to sustain and create new entrepreneurial endeavors for the firm and the family.

IPAG Observatory of French family firms (IOFFF)

Creating the first Observatory of French Family Firms aims at offering a solid and reliable database to collect longitudinal data on family structure, ownership, corporate governance, financial and social performance of French family firms across regions and industries. The database will be used as (a) basis of research projects/papers to disseminate worldwide knowledge on the French Family Business Model, and (b) to deliver every two years a national report on the current status of French family firms plus a series of sectorial reports.

IPAG family enterprise congress (IFEC)

A yearly conference hosted in France mainly organized by a team of IPAG Students. The team of IPAG identifies a topic/theme which is important for French Family Firms. The theme will be discussed with the IFBI’s Executive Leadership Team which decides on the final approval. After that the IFEC team will design the Congress structure by having as main unit “the bridging workshop” which is organized as the combination between a family entrepreneur (who has a story to tell) and a professor/researcher expert on that topic. The main congress participants will be family business owners and managers from all over France. The main aim of IFEC is to be a platform for French family business owners and managers to exchange their ideas and current issues in a scientific and trustworthy environment.

Practitioners’ forum series (PFS)

It is a series of Forum organized by IFBI and hosted by a family firm. The topic is strictly related to the experience of the hosting family firm which is usually a best practice or a good case to learn from. The forum is usually limited to max thirty participants (family business owners and managers).


It is part of the IFBI’s Executive Education Programs and has the aim to train in an ad-hoc program next generation members on what does it mean and what does it take to takeover one day their own family firm. The program aims at fostering learning, discussions, interactions and exchanges among participants through real-world examples and specifically focusing upon governance, ownership, succession, conflicts and growth (among others) issues which are of utmost importance for the long-term sustainability of the family firm.

Publications and academic recognition

Publications in peer-reviewed journals
Calabrò, A., Minichilli, A., Amore, M. D., & Brogi, M. (2018). The courage to choose! Primogeniture and leadership succession in family firms. Strategic Management Journal 39(7): 2014-2035
Calabrò, A., Vecchiarini, M., Gast, J., Campopiano, G., De Massis, A. & Kraus, S. (2018). Innovation in Family Firms: A Systematic Literature Review and Guidance for Future Research. International Journal of Management Reviews
Dinh, T. Q. & Calabrò, A. (2018). Asian Family Firms through Corporate Governance and Institutions: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Agenda for Future Research. International Journal of Management Reviews
Calabrò, A., Minichilli, A., Mussolino, D., & Van Gils, A. (2018). Navigating the waters of family business research: Options and learnings for young scholars. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 9(1): 27-32
Kraus, S., Kallmuenzer, A., Stieger, D., Peters, M., & Calabrò, A. (2018). Entrepreneurial paths to family firm performance. Journal of Business Research, 88: 382-387
Pongelli, C., Calabrò, A., & Basco, R. (2018). Family firms’ international make-or-buy decisions: Captive offshoring, offshore outsourcing, and the role of home region focus.
Basco, R., Calabrò, A., & Campopiano, G. (2018). Transgenerational entrepreneurship around the world: Implications for family business research and practice. Journal of Family Business Strategy
Torchia, M., Calabrò, A., Gabaldon, P., & Kanadli, S. B. (2018). Women directors contribution to organizational innovation: A behavioral approach. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 34(2): 215-224
Botero, I. C., Astrachan, C. B., & Calabrò, A. (2018). A receiver’s approach to family business brands: Exploring individual associations with the term “family firm”. Journal of Family Business Management
Torchia, M., Rautiainen, M., Calabrò, A., Ikäheimonen, T., Pihkala, T., & Ikävalko, M. (2018). Family Ownership Goals and Socioemotional Wealth: Evidence from Finnish Family Firms. Journal of Enterprising Culture, 26(02): 207-224
Walther, A., Calabrò, A., & Morner, M. (2017). Got a plan in the pipeline? Nominating committee’s information processing in executive successions. Management Decision, 55(10): 2200-2217</a
Giménez, D., & Calabrò, A. (2017). The salient role of institutions in Women’s entrepreneurship: a critical review and agenda for future research. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 1-26


Sponsor & Donor

IFBI is largely financed through private donations which are invested in supporting research, teaching, and practice-transfer activities on family business. Your philanthropic financing aims at advancing the knowledge and understanding of family businesses. Different types of sponsorship are possible such as individual donations, project-based financing, financing specific research positions or entering the IFBI Family Owners Circle (FOC).
The IFBI Family Owners Circle is made up by family owners/managers which commit to finance the Institute for at least three years. Family owners and managers part of the IFBI FOC will meet at least once a year in an ad-hoc two days event which is organized and directed by the IFBI team. The IFBI FOC is also a unique opportunity to be in direct and protected connection with other family business members to exchange ideas and experiences.





Prof. Andrea Calabrò
Email: a.calabro@ipag.fr
Phone: +33 (0) 493131092