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ABFI continues to make significant contributions to the School’s global research ranking through multiple publications in top journals (as ranked by the internationally recognized Financial Times). Research needs to be shared with the world to affect change. ABFI and the Alberta School of Business maintain a high international profile in their family enterprise research activities including:
● Delivering the internationally recognized Theories of Family Enterprise Academic Conference, which brings together leading scholars from around the world to explore perennial topics in family business research.
● Playing a key role in the publication of numerous special-issue journals in leading scholarly publications such as Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, and the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.
● Maintaining international affiliations such as visiting scholars from around the globe, leadership in internationally-based research associations; and relations with universities, businesses and governments in India, Thailand, Japan, USA, China, Europe, and around the world.

Our faculty members, research fellows and students are part of an ecosystem of thinkers aimed to advance the field of family business and entrepreneurship. By collaborating with peers, publishing scholarly works, and presenting ideas, they lead in and support the sharing of impactful knowledge.

Vern focuses on understanding how organizations use analytics, arguments, and analogies to change routines and to create new capabilities. Using qualitative research methods, Vern has conducted studies in the predictive analytics and online display advertising industries. 
Vern earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and BA in Economics from the University of California. He is currently the Academic Director of the Alberta Business Family Institute and and Associate Professor in the department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management at the Alberta School of Business.

Vern Glaser

Academic Director
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

Lloyd researches family business, strategic management, organizational theory, and entrepreneurship. He is interested in how entrepreneurs use family as a resource and the strategic advantages conferred by  “family based” approaches to organizing economic activity.
He helped found the international Theories of Family Enterprise Academic conference. In 2020-21, he received the Family Enterprise Research Conference Lifetime Influence and Impact Award. He is a professor in the department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Management and past Academic Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise.

Lloyd Steier

Founding Academic Director
Distinguished Chair, Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise

Jennifer looks broadly at how knowledge becomes constructed within organizations. She uses ethnographic approaches in family firm contexts and her current projects investigate how firms make strategic decisions, how futures become constructed by organizations, and how data are selected, categorized, and changed over time. Each of these streams seeks to understand how people make sense of their surroundings and how this sensemaking interacts with social structures. Jennifer earned her BEd and MBA from the University of Alberta and is currently a Ph.D. student at the Alberta School of Business.

Jennifer Sloan

Terry Hay Research Fellow
PhD Candidate

Dirk(PhD Manchester Business School) is a Senior Professor in Management and Organization at Grenoble Ecole de Management (France), and a Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta School of Business in the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise. In his pursuit of meaningful management research, he explores the theme of technology and emotions at work, with a particular interest in the construction of and struggle among values, and how they inform practices, routines, and organizations pro-socially (or not). His work consistently appears in academic journals of distinction, practitioner outlets, and in the media.

Dirk Lindebaum

Visiting Professor
Senior Professor,
Management & Organization, Grenoble Ecole de Management (France)

Deborah’s research falls at the intersection of strategy and organizational theory. She uses qualitative methods (including ethnography, interviews, and historical methods) to study the implications of technological change and innovation on knowledge work, organizational learning, professional judgment, and the creation of new routines. Deborah earned her DPhil from the University of Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar. She earned her Masters in Taxation, BA in Philosophy, and BS in Accounting from the University of Alabama.

Deborah Anderson

Terry Hay Post-Doctoral
Research Fellow
Research Affiliate,
University of Oxford

The Terry Hay Research Fellowship is funded by an endowment from the Hay Family of Scandinavian Building Services. This fellowship is valued at $10,000 and intended to attract and retain serving PhD students with an interest in family business. The fellowship is open to PhD students who have been admitted to or are currently registered in the Alberta School of Business PhD Program.

Applications are accepted on a rolling bases, please submit by email to with the following Subject: “Terry Hay Research Fellowship application” and include: 

1. A research proposal (max. 1,200 words) explaining (a) your interest in Family Business, and (b) the alignment with the research objectives for your PhD thesis (what is the research question/problem, why is this relevant/important to family business.

2. An up to date curriculum vitae (CV), including a list of all publications and relevant professional and research experience.

Adjudication is done by ABFI’s Research & Education Committee in conjunction with the Business PhD Program Office.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Hay Family of Scandinavian Building Services (and our 2022 Signature Family), ABFI is producing a number of Family Business Cases to be included in undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Alberta and in other post-secondary institutes. 

Our first case is being submitted for approval and should be published in late 2023.

This conference aims to improve our collective understanding of family firms by promoting the development of theories and the accumulation of empirical evidence pertaining to that organizational form. The conference is intended to bring a small number of leading scholars from mainstream disciplines such as strategic management, organization theory, organization behavior, finance, economics, and entrepreneurship together with a small number of leading scholars in family business management in order to explore theories, research, and interdisciplinary perspectives on family businesses.

By invitation only, leading scholars are invited to prepare and present papers on family business utilizing a variety of perspectives. Conference topics are determined by importance as well as by the interests of the invited presenters. Papers presented cover a wide range of perspectives, including agency theory, institutional theory, organizational ecology, prospect theory, resource-based theory, stakeholder theory, transaction cost theory, procedural and distributive justice theories, and network theory, among others, all potentially inform our understanding of family enterprise. Likewise, family business viewed from the conceptual lens of fields such as entrepreneurship, economics, strategic management, organization behavior, and sociology should further contribute to our overall goal.

The authors of papers are invited to submit their work following the conference for review and possible inclusion a special issue in the journal Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. All of the Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice special issues below are comprised of papers and commentaries presented at past Theories of Family Enterprise Conferences.