Research Environment

Center for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO) at Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) is one of the leading and most international research environment at Jönköping University (JU) in general and at JIBS in particular.

CeFEO counts more than 50 scholars and 20 affiliated researchers, plus a large turnover of visiting scholars. CeFEO (a full list of CeFEO Members can be found here). Several studies and reports have consistently identified CeFEO as the leading research environment in Europe and among the top three environments globally in the area of ownership and family business studies (read more here).

While having a specific focus on ownership and family business issues, researchers associated with CeFEO also do extensive and impactful research on topics like strategy, organization, accounting, entrepreneurship, innovation and internationalization, which are very much in line with the focus of JU and JIBS (read more about our research topics here).

CeFEO was founded in 2005, based on a research program initiated already in 1995, by Professor Leif Melin. Between 2012 and 2020 the center was directed by Professor Mattias Nordqvist. From 2020, the center is directed by Biträdande Professor Massimo Baù (read more about our history here) .

Since its foundation, CeFEO follows the steering idea of combining “Academic Excellence and Practical Relevance”. This mission means to combine rigorous academic research at the international frontier, which the creation and diffusion of knowledge that is practically relevant for companies, organizations and individual stakeholders with an interest in ownership and family business issues. We seek double impact with our research, education, and outreach; both in the academic community and in the broader society and industry.
CeFEO is firmly rooted in the overall strategy and guiding principles of JIBS (read more about our vision and mission here).

Despite its relative small size and strong focus, JIBS is one of the leading business schools in Sweden, and probably the most international, still keeping a solid connection with the Swedish society and economy. CeFEO is part of important international networks, often web-based. The advertisement will take place largely within these networks, with various e-mail lists, social media, and personal interactions in conferences. Examples are: EuFBC, EIASM, IFERA, GUESSS, FFI, and AOM. First, CeFEO is funding member of the European Family Business Centers Network (EuFBC), formed by the 15 leading research centers conducting research in the field of family business in Europe. Second, CeFEO is also the academic home of the EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Management Research: initiated by CeFEO in 2005, it gathers more then 100 researchers every year for discussing current research on family business in Europe and beyond. Third, CeFEO is scientific partner of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA), the world’s largest association for family business scholars with more than 300 members. Fourth, since 2021, CeFEO is also Country Delegate for Sweden of the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey (GUESSS), one of the largest entrepreneurship research projects in the world, participated by more then 3’000 universities in 60 countries. Fifth, CeFEO is part of the group of 12 Educational Members of the Family Firm Institute (FFI), the leading association worldwide for family enterprise professionals, advisers, and consultants. Sixth, CeFEO is a sponsor of the Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management (AOM), that counts more than 1,200 academics conducting research in Entrepreneurship and Family Business. These international networks extend across the CeFEO’s core areas of research, education, and outreach, offering the ideal scenario for developing research projects, sharing the results, communicate them to an international audience, and bridge an educational offer truly rigorous and relevant.


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