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5th European STEP Project Summit “Longevity of Enterprising Families; Overcoming Critical Situations”



On October 26 and 27, 2012, the Greek affiliate for the STEP Project (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices), ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece, hosted a unique meeting of academics and family business representatives. The 5th European STEP Summit was organized by the European Region in Crete and was titled “Longevity of Enterprising Families; Overcoming Critical Situations”.


The STEP Project is a global research project that focuses on multigenerational and successful family businesses that have significant growth. Through case studies and questionnaires administered globally, the Project aims at identifying and highlighting practices that ensure the longevity and growth for such businesses.


The annual regional or global Summit is organized in order to share knowledge with family businesses committed to STEP and further understand the mechanics of family enterprising. The Project has its seat at BABSON College and includes, apart from the European Region, the Latin American, the Asian and the Northern American ones. In total, the STEP Project includes more than 200 scholars and 100 family businesses from 44 countries.


In this year’s European Summit, more than 35 participants met in Hersonisos, Crete and discussed issues that dealt with Power, Governance, Emotions, Entrepreneurial Values and Culture, Innovation and Internationalization in family businesses. Interactive sessions, group activities, exercises and theatrical role plays enhanced the knowledge of all participants and allowed for constructive exchange of opinions.


Partners present at the Summit were: ALBA Graduate Business School (Greece), Antwerpen University (Belgium), Bocconi University (Italy), ESADE (Spain), Jonkoping International Business School (Sweden), Lancaster University (England), University of Bergamo (Italy), University of Edinburgh (Scotland), University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), University of St. Gallen Switzerland), Windesheim University (The Netherlands) and Witten/Herdecke University (Germany). Universita della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland) was also present as the newest academic affiliate for the European Region.


The Summit commenced with welcome notes from ALBA’s Dean Nickolaos Travlos, Prof. Candy Brush from BABSON College on behalf of the global Project and Prof. Alfredo De Massis from University of Bergamo on behalf of the European Region. The organizing committee for the 5th European STEP Summit was: Alfredo De Massis (University of Bergamo), Philipp Sieger (University of St Gallen) and Alexis Komselis (ALBA Graduate Business School).



The Summit concluded with the announcement of next year’s Global STEP Summit to be held at ESADE in Spain. Previous European STEP Summits were hosted by ESADE (Spain), HEC (France), Universita Bocconi (Italy) and Universität St. Gallen (Switzerland).