Call for papers: “Contextualizing Family Firms in the Arab World”
(28th February 2018)
Rodrigo Basco (American University of Sharjah)
Alreem Al Ammari (American University of Sharjah)
Farida El Agamy (Tharawat Family Business Forum)
Family firms in the Arab World cannot be fully understood without considering the context in which families and firms exist. While contexts determine organizational behavior (Johns, 2006), the footprints of family firms recursively manifest themselves in regional socio-economic contexts (Basco, 2015). Therefore, to fully understand the Arab family firm phenomenon, scholars must go beyond its boundaries by recognizing and exploring the multiple embeddedness of family firms in general. We must consider the micro-context of the family, the meso-context of the industry, and the macro-context of the country/region, all of which are characterized by paradoxes of conflict and peace, stability and instability, certainty and uncertainty, and modernity and tradition (Basco, 2017).
In the Arab World, socio-economic activities have traditionally been embedded in kinship relationships in Bedouin, rural, and urban societies. Families are the dominant institutions through which individuals transmit their culture, legacy, religion, expectations, and traditions and interact in society (Barakat, 1993) by creating their own identity. In this context, Arab families act as a filter absorbing changes caused by contemporary economies, social and economic globalization forces, societal conflicts, political transformations, the influence of the recent colonial past, and cultural pressures from Western and Eastern cultures.
Even though the family business field has gained external legitimacy (Chrisman, Chua, & Steier, 2003; Perez Rodriguez & Basco, 2011), the lack of an overall family business theory is mainly due to the shortage of studies integrating contextual dimensions. A theory of family firms “must explain and predict not only the interaction between family and business systems at the individual and family firm levels but also the interaction between family firms and the environment at the aggregate level” (Basco, 2015, p. 260). In this sense, contextualizing the family firm in the Arab World could help clarify firm familiness (Gomez-Mejia, Cruz, Berrone, & De Castro, 2011; Habbershon & Williams, 1999), which focuses on the effect family has on firm behavior and performance, and regional familiness (Stough, Welter, Block, Wennberg, & Basco, 2015), which focuses on the family firm’s effect on regional development.
The aim of this conference is to advance previous efforts to contextualize the family firm phenomenon in different institutional and cultural environments (e.g., Gupta, Levenburg, Moore, Motwani, & Schwarz, 2008), particularly in the Arab World (e.g., Bizri, 2016; Fahed-Sreih & Djoundourian, 2006; Welsh & Raven, 2006).
We invite submissions to the conference titled “Conceptualizing Family Firms in the Arab World.” The purpose of the conference is to gather researchers who are investigating the family firm phenomenon in the Arab World. We expect that contextualizing family firms in the Arab World will shed new light on the nuances of family firms in terms of their phenomenological perspectives and theoretical development.
Submission Guidelines and deadline
We encourage scholars, especially PhD students and young researchers, whose research focuses directly or indirectly on family businesses in the Arab World to submit their works in progress at different stages. Abstract submission should be one document with a cover page (title, author’s name, affiliation, email) and a two-page abstract (topic of research, theories, method, results, contributions)
Abstract submission should be sent electronically to rbasco. Deadline Abstract by 30/11/2017 – Authors Notification by 31/12/2017 – Final papers (final submission) by 31/01/2018
Travel Research Grants
The Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business offers six scholarships for PhD students from the Arab World to travel to and attend the conference. Potential candidates who would like to apply for a travel/accommodation grant should send their application letter and CV with their abstract submission by 30/11/2017.
We have designed a special event for PhD students and young scholars called the Career Academy Workshop to discuss the challenges of developing an academic career in the Arab World. Topics will include matters related to earning a PhD, building an academic career, publishing research, and building local and international networks.
Special Topic Section
In collaboration with Journal Family Business Strategy, papers presented at the conference will be eligible for a special topic section, “Contextualizing Family Firms in the Arab World.”
There is no registration fee.
27 of February, 2018 Welcome reception, 7pm-10pm, Sharjah
Academic Conference: 28 of February, 2018 – Keynote speakers – Plenary sessions
Business Family Conference: 1 of March, 2018 – Keynote speakers and panel sessions
Venue. American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Organizers: Rodrigo Basco (American University of Sharjah), Alreem Al Ammari(American University of Sharjah), and Farida El Agamy (Tharawat Family Business Forum)
Barakat, H. (1993). The Arab World. Society, culture, and state. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.
Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional development-A theoretical model of regional familiness. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 259–271.
Basco, R. (2017). The multiple embeddedness of family firms in Arab World. In S. Basly, P.-L. Saunier, & A. Marouane (Eds.), Family Businesses in the Arab World – Governance, Strategy, and Financing (p. forthcoming).
Bizri, R. (2016). Succession in the family business: drivers and pathways. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 22(1), 133–154.
Chrisman, J. J., Chua, J. H., & Steier, L. P. (2003). An introduction to theories of family business. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(4), 441–448.
Fahed-Sreih, J., & Djoundourian, S. (2006). Determinants of longevity and success in Lebanese family businesses: An exploratory study. Family Business Review, 19(3), 225–234.
Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Cruz, C., Berrone, P., & De Castro, J. (2011). The Bind that Ties: Socioemotional Wealth Preservation in Family Firms. Academy of Management Annals, 5(1), 653–707.
Gupta, V., Levenburg, N., Moore, L., Motwani, J., & Schwarz, T. V. (2008). Culturally-sensitive models of family business in Germanic Europe. Hyderabad, India: ICFA University Press.
Habbershon, T. G., & Williams, M. L. (1999). A Resource-Based Framework for Assessing the Strategic Advantages of Family Firms. Family Business Review, 12(1), 1–25.
Johns, G. (2006). The Essential Impact of Context on Organizational Behavior. Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 386–408.
Perez Rodriguez, M. J., & Basco, R. (2011). The cognitive legitimacy of the family business field. Family Business Review, 24(4).
Stough, R., Welter, F., Block, J., Wennberg, K., & Basco, R. (2015). Family business and regional science: “Bridging the gap.” Journal of Family Business Strategy, 6(4), 208–218.
Welsh, D. H. B., & Raven, P. (2006). Family business in the Middle East: An exploratory study of retail management in Kuwait and Lebanon. Family Business Review, 19(1), 29–48.
Rodrigo Basco, Ph.D.
Sheikh Saoud bin Khalid bin Khalid Al-Qassimi Chair in Family Business
American University of Sharjah