Paradoxes and pathways to learning family business leadership

Ken Moores, Mary Barrett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


The paper reports on a qualitative analysis of case studies and learning narratives of CEOs of successful family firms (FCBs) to understand how they undertake the learning necessary for their leadership roles. A review of the literature on leadership theory and learning shows specific theoretical gaps and tensions in leadership theory that are important for understanding theoretical and practical issues in how leadership is learned in the FCB context. Specifically, the intangible resources of FCBs, especially high levels of trust, reliance on networks, and specific knowledge management practices, which are the basis of their competitive advantage, also affect how they need to be led, and how leaders acquire the skills to lead them. Results showed family firm CEOs followed four discrete, sequential learning phases, each characterized by a specific learning priority.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th IFERA Annual World Family Business Research Conference
EditorsS Tomaselli
Place of PublicationSpain
PublisherInternational Family Enterprise Research Academy
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventAnnual IFERA World Family Business Research conference: Intelligence and Courage - Universita di Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Duration: 28 Jun 20111 Jul 2011
Conference number: 11th


ConferenceAnnual IFERA World Family Business Research conference
Internet address


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