Alfredo De Massis

Alfredo De Massis

Alfredo de Massis is an award-winning expert in the management and governance of family enterprises. His research has advanced understanding of how family business leaders make key decisions. 

In particular, his research examines the way their strategic decision making considers both economic goals and other dimensions such as maintaining family harmony and control of the business, creating jobs for the next generation, succession planning and nurturing the reputation of the family in its community. His research also shows that instead of dismissing the past to invent a brand-new future, successful family firms excel at leveraging their tradition, history and heritage as a strategic resource to enable innovation.

Alfredo also works closely with large and small businesses in several countries to help them build rigorous and reliable knowledge to promote long-term prosperity across generations. Most recently, he has helped companies and institutions, including the UK government, address the new challenges Covid-19 has triggered for family firms such as the need for rapid and unexpected succession, dehumanization of relationships due to remote working, effects of emotional vulnerabilities and salience of patrimonial and liquidity issues for families in business, because the patient nature of family capital cannot be taken for granted any more.

Alfredo’s prolific writings include seven books, including the Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for Family Business and Family Business Studies: An Annotated Bibliography. He has also published dozens of articles, six of which were selected in March 2018 by the International Family Enterprise Research Academy among the most influential recent articles on family firms worldwide. 

In addition to having been the guest editor of more than 20 special issues of leading academic journals, Alfredo is currently the Editor of Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice and Associate Editor of Family Business Review, two prestigious and influential journals in the field of family business. He is also an Editor of, a US social media platform dedicated to sharing learning resources that help improve the survival and success rate of family firms.

On top of his research work, Alfredo serves on the boards of public and private organizations internationally, including in Italy, China, the US, Germany, and the UK. He also works closely with large and small businesses in several countries to help them build rigorous and reliable knowledge to promote long-term prosperity across generations.

As one of the world’s most productive and influential family business academics, Alfredo was named in 2015 among the world’s 25 “star family business professors” by Family Capital magazine.

In parallel with his collaboration and scientific advisory role at IMD, Alfredo remains Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Business at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy. He will also continue his support for family business projects at Lancaster University Management School’s Centre for Family Business (UK).

Prior to his academic career, he worked as manager for SCS Consulting and the strategy service line of Accenture, and as financial analyst at the Italian Stock Exchange (part of London Stock Exchange Group).

Alfredo holds a Ph.D. in Management, Economics and Industrial engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering from Politecnico di Milano.

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