Future of Family Business: marketing challenges in times of crisis


Submissions Open: 1st September 2021

Submissions Deadline: 31st March 2022


In light of the sudden global crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus, family businesses face new challenges and vastly rely on decision makers' cognitive outlines and social backgrounds (Mazzelliet al., 2020). The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disrupted consumer behavior (Zwanka & Buff, 2020), changed consumption patterns and imposed transformation of marketing channels (Kim, 2020; Duarte et al., 2018), and increased the necessity for business models adaptation (Kraus et al., 2020). Hence, this new reality brought additional pressure to the family businesses, which are struggling to survive in these turmoil times (Hughes et al., 2020).

Despite the rapid growth of technologies that assist in day-to-day marketing operations (Rust, 2020; Reuber & Fischer, 2011; Vlačić et al., 2021), family businesses are facing significant obstacles in the adoption, development and implementation of state of the art technologies under time of crisis (Wang et al., 2020; Kumar et al., 2020). Although technological progress in marketing enabled better decision-making, the unprecedented circumstances increased the gap between the current performance and the desired one (Singh & Thirumoorthi, 2019). Consequently, decision-makers face a new set of conditions that affect their reasoning and customer validation, forcing them to reframe marketing operations (Syam & Sharma, 2018). This new set of rules is resulting in a higher necessity for marketing accountability (Silva et al., 2021) as well as activities that would enable customer welfare and business survival (Singh & Tiwari, 2019).

Given the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on family businesses, such as decreased demand, reduced orders, cost pressures and lack of suppliers, this special issue aims to provide a reference point and establish the groundwork for researchers and practitioners facing uncertain times ahead.

Potential Topics

This special issue seeks to address the research gap and explores how family businesses are overcoming challenges in times of uncertainty and crisis. We are looking for publications that will provide a further understanding of how family businesses (from micro ventures to large enterprises) cope with rising environmental changes, challenges related to physical and social distancing, disturbances in consumer behavior, and adaptation of marketing channels, among others. Thus, this special call invites scholars to come up with new insights in marketing strategies dealing with Covid -19 pandemic. In line with empirical studies (quantitative, qualitative, case studies), we welcome conceptual studies (theoretical, literature review) with clear theoretical and practical contributions.

Given the unique opportunity to reassess marketing strategies in order to cope with the crisis and disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential contributions for this special issue could investigate - but are not limited to - one or more of the pressing research questions indicated below:

  • How family businesses redesigned workflows to ensure the continuation of activities and compensate for barriers caused by the Covid-19 crisis?
  • How are family businesses which traditionally focused on personal service and customer experience as differentiators are affected by the crisis?
  • How should family businesses deal with challenges related to physical and social distancing?
  • How are family businesses developing new revenue streams?
  • Which new marketing strategies are emerging from the Covid-19 crisis?
  • Which combinations of marketing channels are appropriate for different target markets and individuals in times of Covid-19 crisis?
  • How are family businesses ensuring customer stewardship and take initiatives that enhance their customers' welfare?
  • How open innovation helped to catch up with different stakeholders on the target markets?

Submissions Information

Submissions open: 1st September 2021

Submissions deadline: 31st March 2022

Submissions should be accompanied by an assurance of originality and exclusivity and should adhere to the 'Style and Format' found in the author guidelines.

All submissions are through the online submission system ScholarOne. Full submission details are in the author guidelines. Please ensure you submit to this special issue using the appropriate dropdown menu on ScholarOne.

All submissions will be subject to a rigorous double-blind peer-review process, with one or more of the guest editors acting as action editor.

Guest Editors

Marina Dabić, Professor at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business
& Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom
[email protected]@efzg.hr or [email protected]

Božidar Vlačić, Assistant Proffesor at Católica Porto Business School and Distinguished Researcher at Research Centre in Management and Economics (CEGE), Universidade Católica Portuguesa

[email protected]

Ivana Kovač, Assistant Professor at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Croatia

[email protected]

Guest Editors' profiles

Prof Marina Dabić received the M.Sc. and PhD degrees from University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Croatia in 1989 and 2000, respectively. She is full Professor of Entrepreneurship and International Business at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business, Croatia and Nottingham Business School, NTU, UK. Her papers appear in wide variety of international journals, including, the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Organizational Dynamics, International Journal of Human Resource Management, IEEE-TEM, Organizational Dynamics among many others. Prof Dabić is associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and Technology in Society.

Božidar Vlačić is Assistant Professor at Católica Porto Business School and Distinguished Researcher at Research Centre in Management and Economics (CEGE), Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Portugal). Since 2018, he holds an International Ph.D. with honors in Economic Analysis and Business Strategy from the University of Vigo, the University of Santiago and the University of A Coruña (Spain). His main contributions are published in journals such as Journal of Business Research, Technovation, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Intellectual Capital, and European Journal of International Management. He is an active member of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society and the European International Business Academy (EIBA) and chair of EIBA Early Career Network.

Ivana Kovač is Assistant Professor at University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business, Croatia. She participated in - ERASMUS Network: OI-Net, partner EC - LL Leonardo Project, SLIM - Transfer of Innovation from Idea to Market Tempus FoSentHe project, Horizon, RISE Open Innovation project. Her main contributions are published in journals such Journal of Intellectual Capital, Journal of Enterprising Communities and Global business & Economics Anthology


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