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Frequently Asked Questions

What do we mean by "family firm"?

A family firm refers to a firm in which one family has significant influence over the ownership and/or management of the business, and has a long-term view of how the business can add value to the family, often across generations. Specifically, according to the academic literature, this means that one particular family owns 50% or more of the shares of the company, and at least 2 members of the same family exert a significant influence on the company, for example by being a member of the top management team or the board of directors. Another characteristic of a family firm is that the company is also considered a family firm by the CEO/managing director.

What do we mean by "strategic change"?

Today, organizations are confronted with an environment that is constantly changing. In order to survive and to continue to distinguish themselves from the competition, it is therefore crucial that (family) firms undertake strategic changes. But what exactly does this mean? In the literature, strategic change is defined as the current and future use of resources and interactions with the environment that determine whether business goals are achieved. Strategic change thus refers to the ways in which organizations deal with changing competitive, technological and social environments that could potentially jeopardize their survival and effectiveness.

Why do we focus on 4 work packages?

The four work packages arise from four important gaps in the literature. Together, they form the four central scientific objectives that we want to achieve with the project. The insights from these work packages will not only provide essential new insights for the academic literature on strategic change in family firms, but will also result in innovative practical insights.

Who is involved in this project?

The project is a collaboration between Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp. For more information on the team members involved in the project, we refer you to our team page. This research team is also assisted by a group of partners who, with their input, help ensure that the project is also highly valuable for practice.

How is the project funded?

This research project is funded by the SBO program of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO).

I am interested in the results of the research project. Where can I find these?

The latest results of the research project are constantly shared via our News page and via the social media channels of RCEF (Hasselt University) and the Faculty of Business and Economics (University of Antwerp).

My organization is interested in participating in the valorisation trajectory of this research project. How can we get involved in this?

To discuss (without obligation) whether and how your organization can contribute to the valorisation process of this project, you can always contact us via or via the contact form.

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