IFERA2014 Professional Development Workshop (PDW)

24th June 2014





 Welcome and information about the logistics of the day 


Donella Casperz

Using Action Research




Donella Casperz

Using Discourse Theory and Analysis in Family Business Studies


Alfredo De Massis

Case Study Research




Michael Pratt     

Publishing Qualitative Research in Top-Tier Journals


Alfredo De Massis

Case Study Research




 Jenny Helin

Conducting Deep Process Studies


Donella Casperz, Alfredo de Massis, Jenny Helin

Conclusion and wrap-up

Julia-Carolin Schmid











Donella Casperz

Title: Using Discourse Theory and Analysis in Family Business Studies

The aim of this session is to discuss the use of discourse theory and analysis in family business studies. This is by considering the following questions: how can discourse theory and analysis assist to unravel the influence of the often hidden but family-centric interpretations of events and people? How can this methodological approach unravel the effect of family on family business? What tools are of assistance in these tasks? Discourse theory and analysis is concerned with understanding how we come to know and understand both people and events. We begin this workshop by firstly considering discourse theory and analysis before discussing how we can gather and analyse 'discourse'. In this discussion, we will debate the merits of various analytical tools in approaching this task, and the complementarity of this approach with other methodologies and theoretical approaches.

Alfredo De Massis

Title: Case Study Research

I will provide provide guidelines that are useful to family business researchers when deciding whether and how to use case studies in their research project. Drawing on examples from my published qualitative research, I offer general suggestions for choosing the case study design, defining the unit of analysis, selecting the cases (sampling), collecting information, analyzing information, presenting results and ensuring validity and reliability in research findings. By outlining the most important and distinctive challenges for family business qualitative scholars and establishing the relevance and usefulness of the case study method for generating new and valuable understandings of family businesses, this session encourages scholars to engage in case study method in high-quality family business research.

Attendants are encouraged to read the best practice paper entitled "The case study method in family business research: Guidelines for qualitative scholarship", available at  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfbs.2014.01.007,  as it will serve as a basis for discussion.


Michael Pratt

 Title: Publishing Qualitative Research in Top-Tier Journals

Qualitative research” Some basics

How do we evaluate qualitative research – debates and alternatives

Key Tensions in publishing qualitative research

Publishing: Risky paths

Publishing: Better paths

Improving your chances for a R&R

Jenny Helin

 Title: Conducting Deep Process Studies

This workshop is addressed to researchers interested in family business research from a process perspective. The main questions that will be addressed are: How can process studies contribute to family business research? And, if I want to carry out a study in line with process thinking, how can I go about? Process research is not a specific theory neither focused upon a specific topic area, industry, or level or analysis. It can rather be described as an approach that forefront dynamic elements; that is how and why things emerge, develop, or terminate over time. In particular, process research is concerned with temporality and relationality. In short, process approaches to organization studies focus on flow, activities, and evolution, understanding organizations and organizing as processes in the making.The emphasis in the workshop is very much on allowing the participants to appreciate both what a processual worldview entails and how, given such a view, a researcher might be expected to engage in the practice of studying phenomena. Participants will learn how others have done such by discussing current process work in family business research and other relevant examples from general management and organization studies. Besides from learning from others, there will also be elements of exploring participants own research projects and how they might be carried out from a process perspective. For this, participants will be asked to submit short papers with focus on methods that can serve as a basis for discussion. In sum, the aim of the workshop is to bring the practice of process research to life and thereby make this approach viable for participants.