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Enacting Strategy in Family Businesses

Special Issue Call for Papers from the Journal of Family Business Management

Guest Editors:
Leon Schjoedt, Indiana University South Bend
Alan Carsrud, Ryerson University
Casey Frid, Pace University

What strategic actions do family businesses undertake? Do they analyze competitors, and formulate and implement strategy deliberately? Or, does a strategy emerge unplanned from past actions? Is it something in between? These questions are the primary drivers of this special issue.

Strategy may be considered as “a pattern in a stream of decisions” on a continuum from deliberate to emergent (Mintzberg & Waters, 1985, p. 257). On the one hand, “entrepreneurship requires action” (McMullen & Shepherd, 2006, p. 132). Strategy needs to be enacted to have an effect on family business performance. Yet, underlying these actions are individual thought processes, emotions, and social behaviors that make up “behavioral strategy” (Powell, Lovallo, & Fox, 2011).

The aim of this special issue is to elucidate the relationship between cognitive processes and concrete, strategic actions in family businesses. The aim is also to extend the limited research on strategy in family businesses (Harris, Martinez & Ward, 1994).  In essence, the focus of the special issue is on how strategy is enacted in terms of concrete behaviors at the individual and group levels by individuals who own or manage family businesses. Though strategy enactment is central, it may be considered as either an antecedent or a consequence.

This special issue thus concentrates on both the mental processes underlying action, and the concrete actions that are part of the enactment of strategy in family businesses, after emergence. The objective is to broaden the focus in behavior research to include post-startup activities in the context of family businesses. Any theoretical approaches are welcome, so long as the research is behavior based. Research aimed at better understanding the complex relationships between behavior constructs at the individual, group, and firm level are encouraged. All methodological approaches are welcomed, but preference will be given to articles that reflect some degree of methodological pluralism.


Authors should follow the Author Guidelines for manuscript preparation available on the journal’s website (

Manuscripts should be submitted to between August 1, 2013 and January 31, 2014 only. Authors must specify that the submission is for the special issue on Enacting Strategy in Family Businesses. All papers will be subject to the journal’s normal review process. Publication is scheduled for 2015. Please contact Leon Schjoedt ([email protected]) if you have any questions about the special issue.


Harris, D., Martinez, J. I. & Ward, J. L. (1994). Is strategy different for the family-owned  business? Family Business Review, 7, 159-174.
McMullen, J. S. & Shepherd, D. A. (2006). Entrepreneurial action and the role of uncertainty in the theory of the entrepreneur. Academy of Management Review, 31, 132–152.
Mintzberg, H. & Waters, J. A. (1985). Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. Strategic Management Journal, 6, 257-272.
Powell, T. C., Lovallo, D. & Fox, C. R. (2011). Behavioral Strategy. Strategy Management  Journal, 32(13), 1369-1386.

Guest Editor Biographies:

Leon Schjoedt, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Management with the School of Business and Economics at Indiana University South Bend. His research focuses on entrepreneurial behavior. Leon’s work has appeared in several journals, e.g., Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of High Technology Management Research, Organizational Dynamics, Small Business Economics, and in a number of book chapters. He serves on several editorial review boards and has served as guest editors of several special issues of international academic journals, including Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.

Alan L. Carsrud, Ph.D., Ec.D. (hc), is widely regarded as a senior researcher in entrepreneurship having published numerous studies on not only entrepreneurial strategies in technology based firms, but also the role that market orientation plays in such strategies. Dr. Carsrud sits on the editorial boards of Family Business Review and the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  He has been a frequent contributor to Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
He was the Founding Associate Editor of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development and is currently Associate Editor for the Journal of Small Business Management. 

Casey Frid, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Management at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. His research is focused on the earliest stages of the venture creation process, and how actions undertaken by nascent entrepreneurs impact the formation of new firms. Casey has three research streams. One stream of research examines what actions are needed to obtain external financing, and when external financing occurs relative to other start-up activities during organizational emergence. A second stream investigates how acquiring specific sources of financing (e.g., personal savings, friends and family, bank loans) shapes the founding of nascent ventures. A third stream explores links between the amount of financing and the creation of high-potential ventures. He is an experienced entrepreneur, has worked with startup companies in Brazil, Egypt, and United States, and worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis, Washington, D.C.