MREV/EURAM – Call for Papers: Entrepreneurship and Managerialization in SMEs and family firms

Guest Editors:
Paola Vola, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy
Sylvia Rohlfer, CUNEF, Madrid, Spain
Lucrezia Songini, University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy

The competitive landscape of the twenty-first century is dynamic, highlighting the need for organizations to be entrepreneurial. Thus, a scientific dialogue on entrepreneurial orientation and spirit in family businesses and SMEs has emerged as a relevant topic. However, the capacity to conjugate entrepreneurial spirit of family businesses and smaller enterprises with the managerialization of the organizational structure and mechanisms as well as the professionalization of people involved in the company is critical for the long-term survival and development of those firms.

Research on managerialization of SMEs and family firms points out that they are characterized by a lower adoption of managerial mechanism, as a consequence of the strong linkages between the owners/managers and the enterprise; and/or the lack of managerial knowledge at the ownership, governance and management levels. It is commonly underlined that the management in these firms is characterized by some degree of informality and that individual and social control systems are more suited to these enterprises, due to common shared values and languages, informal relationships etc. (Marlow, Taylor and Thompson, 2010; Saundry, Jones and Wimberley, 2014; Rohlfer, Munoz and Slocum, 2016).

However, some authors stated that formal mechanisms could help family owned businesses to cope with the interests and problems of both the company and the family, and their specific agency costs (Rue and Ibrahim, 1996; Schulze et al., 2003; Songini, Gnan et Malmi, 2013; Della Torre and Solari, 2013). Literature on family firms recognizes the importance of managerialization and professionalization in smoothing succession’s process.

This special issue of Management Revue and the corresponding Track 03_09 – Entrepreneurship and Managerialization in SMEs and family firms, under SIG 03 – Entrepreneurship, at EURAM 2017, provides an opportunity to take stock of developments on these issues, particularly on the adoption of management mechanisms and the professionalization of SMEs and family firms and their balance with entrepreneurial spirit.

We are looking for contributions that explore the ability of successful SMEs and family business to maintain fresh entrepreneurial spirit while consolidating management and control mechanisms, and introducing professional managers, but also for contributions that analyze the consequences of losing momentum in that balance.

Thus, we invite papers that make an important theoretical and/or empirical contribution to our understanding of such issues; international and comparative papers are particularly welcome. Areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • How and why SMEs and family firms restructure and reorganize the management of the firm in the light of managerialization and professionalization?
  • How can SMEs and family firms balance entrepreneurial spirit and managerialization/ professionalization? How do they maintain this balance along time and during generations?
  • What is the role of family members and non-family members in balancing entrepreneurial spirit and managerialization/ professionalization?
  • What is the role of women (family and non-family members) in such a balance?
  • What is the role of managerial mechanisms and professional managers in SMEs and family firms’ development and growth?
  • What are the implications of managerialization and professionalization on key employee relations characteristics, such as pay and conditions, employee voice and labor management relations?
  • How and why owner/managers ́ approaches to managerialization and professionalization vary in relation to issues such as firm, sector, national contexts and employee characteristics, among others?
  • What are the implications for owner-managers and other stakeholders, including employees?
  • Which theories can best help us explain and understand managerialization and professionalization in SMEs and family firms, and the relation with entrepreneurship?

This is not an exhaustive list.

Management Revue is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary European journal publishing both qualitative and quantitative work, as well as purely theoretical papers that advances the study of management, organization, and industrial relations. Management Revue publishes articles that contribute to theory from a number of disciplines, including business and public administration, organizational behavior, economics, sociology, and psychology. Reviews of books relevant to management and organization studies are a regular feature (

European Academy of Management
The European Academy of Management (EURAM) is a learned society founded in 2001. It aims at advancing the academic discipline of management in Europe. With members from 49 countries in Europe and beyond, EURAM has a high degree of diversity and provides its members with opportunities to enrich debates over a variety of research management themes and traditions (

Potential authors
Authors are encouraged to submit research manuscripts that are likely to make a significant contribution to the literature on entrepreneurship and managerialization and professionalization in SMEs and family firms for a double-blind review process. Contributors to the Track 03_09 “Entrepreneurship and Managerialization in SMEs and family firms” at EURAM 2017 Conference are encouraged to discuss their sub- mission prior or during the conference. Even if conference participants will benefit from a fast review process, submissions are not solely restricted to conference participants.

Full papers for this special issue of Management Revue must be with the editors by 31 July 2017. All submissions will be subject to a double-blind review process. Papers invited for a “revise and resubmit” are due on the 30 November 2017. Final decision will be made by May 2018. The special issue will be published in late 2018.

Submission and guidelines
Please submit your papers electronically via the online submission system at using SI “Managerialization” as article section.

The guest editors welcome informal enquiries by email:
Paola Vola
Sylvia Rohlfer
Lucrezia Songini


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Songini, L. & Gnan, L. (2014). The glass ceiling in SMEs and its impact on firm managerialization: A comparison between family and non-family SMEs, International Jounal of Business Governance and Ethics, 9(2): 287-312.

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Songini, L. & Vola, P.(2015) The Role of Professionalization and Managerialization in Family Business Succession. Management Control, 2015/1, 9-43

Songini, L. & Gnan, L. (2015). Family Involvement and Agency Cost Control Mechanisms in Family Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Journal of Small Business Management, 53(3), 748–779.