ISBE 2021: Family and Community Business



Dr James Cunningham, Robert Gordon University and Dr Udeni Salmon, University of Bristol

In association with ISBE’s Family Business Special Interest Group

Join here today. Membership of the SIG is open to ISBE members and non-members.


Family and community-embedded businesses provide a vital function, not only in the economy, but also in the society in which we live. The presence of family exerts a powerful influence on the organisations, making behaviours and direction distinct from other forms of enterprise. While community-based businesses, of all kinds, inherently root themselves in the specific needs of their context. The result being a bespoke form of enterprise, often ill-explained by the traditional notions of opportunity seeking and entrepreneurial orientation.

This track looks to understand family and community businesses further, by exploring their unique behaviours and considering the impact on the world around us. As such, we acknowledge that studies in family and community business will form broad church, and we welcome a range of perspectives to help us uncover the array of approaches to the student of these unique enterprises.

Relevant topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing alliances and networks, both localised and widespread
  • Managing networks and knowledge
  • Enterprise growth and scale
  • Embracing sustainability – for both the enterprise and in society
  • Branding and identity
  • Issues of employment
  • Managing business transfer, including family succession, employee ownership, and sale
  • Issues of race, ethnicity and gender in the family and community business setting
  • Philanthropy, including monitory philanthropy and community engagement
  • Intervention, support and the role of family business advisors
  • Overall engagement in proactive and innovative strategies


Papers that address other family business topics with innovative practices and new thinking approaches will also be considered and we are encouraging of case studies and practitioner contributions.