11 June 2014 10:57

Leading figures from the business world are to help direct academic thinking at one of the UK’s top business schools.

Lancaster University Management School’s Centre for Family Business is inviting the heads of some of the country’s top performing family businesses to help plan its research and engagement strategy.

The Centre for Family Business is an internationally-recognised research centre that is dedicated to supporting this highly important sector. Family businesses are the most common form of commercial organisation around the world. Families own a majority stake in 81 per cent of UK unquoted companies. Of these, 79 per cent are explicitly identified as family businesses.

The Centre for Family Business at Lancaster is examining how it will be able to offer the best support to these businesses through academic research and also by engagement and development programmes.

As part of this process there will be a two-day strategy event from June 18-20 at Lancaster University Management School, which will be attended by family business leaders such as Edwin Booth, of Booths retailers, Gillian Hall of Butler’s Cheeses, and Andrew Beale of Beale’s Hotels.

Professor Alfredo De Massis, Director of the Centre for Family Business, said: “Family businesses are the most common form of business organisation and the backbone of any economy around the world. Yet, it’s only been within the past few decades that they have started to receive scholarly and policy attention.

“There’s nothing quite like a family business - whatever its size or the industry it operates in, a family business will behave and be run in a way that’s distinctive. We need to understand the unique goals, processes and outcomes engendered by family influence on business in order to identify the distinctive strategies and managerial practices that are required by family businesses to succeed in the future.

“The Centre for Family Business, internationally recognised for its focus on world-class research, aims to inspire and support better management of family firms in the future competitive arena.”

As well as hearing from family businesses, the event will also hear from the leading pioneers in international family business and entrepreneurship research and the editors of leading entrepreneurship and innovation research journals.

More information on the Centre for Family Business can be found at http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/ieed/familybusiness/