Researcher named No. 1 in nation among family business researchers

Franz Kellermanns
Friday, January 12, 2024
UNC Charlotte achieves No. 2 national ranking

Belk College of Business Professor Franz W. Kellermanns ranks first in the nation and fourth worldwide for family business research, according to a new ranking.

Additionally, UNC Charlotte ranks second nationally and fifth among universities worldwide. Texas State University released the Family Business Research Productivity Ranking University in December 2023.

The annual assessment provides insight into the universities and scholars at the forefront of family business research. Rankings are based on the collective number of articles published during the most recent five-year period (2018-2022) in the three top academic journals that exclusively publish family business research.

"This latest ranking showcases the impact of research by our faculty, who are leaders in advancing business knowledge in the Charlotte region and globally," Belk College Interim Dean Dolly King said. "Family businesses drive economic growth and economic mobility and offer important lessons for other organizations. Research that is use-inspired is crucial to family businesses’ success."

The three journals considered in the productivity ranking are:

  • Family Business Review, with a 5-year impact factor of 10.5
  • Journal of Family Business Strategy, with a 5-year impact factor of 7.7
  • Journal of Family Business Management, with a 5-year impact factor of 2.9

"Most research is done on Fortune 500 companies, but that is not the majority of the workforce," said Kellermanns, the Addison H. & Gertrude C. Reese Endowed Chair in International Business and Professor of Management. "Most entrepreneurial ventures end up as family-business entities, which form the backbone of the economy. These businesses are often not on the radar, which is interesting because these businesses tend to be more innovative and excel at doing more with less."

Family business research by Charlotte faculty, particularly Kellermanns and others in the Belk College of Business, often is focused on solutions. It is relevant to other researchers, organizations and individual businesses and advisors to businesses. Recent research has focused on topics including:

  • IPO financing’s impact on family firms’ internationalization
  • The perspective of family companies’ CEOs on the issue of family cohesion and the relationship to the companies’ performance
  • Family businesses’ contribution to the U.S. economy
  • Succession planning
  • Gender and leadership in family firms
  • Emotional attachment to family firms

Kellermanns holds a joint appointment with the Center for Family Business at the WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Connecticut. His research interests include international business, strategy process and entrepreneurship with a focus on family business research. He has earned a number of international and national rankings.