Professor ranked among top entrepreneurship scholars worldwide

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Franz KellermannsFranz Kellermanns, the Addison H. and Gertrude C. Reese Endowed Chair in International Business, is among the leading scholars worldwide in entrepreneurship, according to the Journal of Small Business Management.

In the article “Contributing Forces in Entrepreneurship Research: A Global Citation Analysis,” the journal ranked the top entrepreneurship scholars globally. Kellermanns is the only scholar in North Carolina included among the top 25 scholars; he is listed at No. 13.

Kellermanns has received multiple awards for his research, which includes international business, strategic management and entrepreneurship with a focus on family business research. He was ranked as the third most productive researcher on family firms worldwide. He also was named the most productive German-speaking business professor under age 40 by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

“It is a true honor to receive this new recognition for scholarship in entrepreneurship among this company of highly acclaimed international scholars,” Kellermanns said. “This ranking also brings tremendous recognition to UNC Charlotte, a fast-growing public research university that is building a critical mass of entrepreneurship researchers and programs. With Drs. Chen, Pieper, Stanley and Webb and me engaging in entrepreneurship research, we are on our way to become a powerhouse in this area. Indeed, over the past few years, the Belk College of Business has hired more researchers studying entrepreneurship, and we have an active entrepreneurship community on campus with resources such as PORTAL.”

Kellermanns’ work focuses specifically on family firms, their dynamics and behaviors.

“I’m interested in how the attachment to the business affects decision making. On the family firm side, the owner has a unique view and attachment to the business, which is important to research and understand,” he said.

“In my research, I have found interesting business patterns among family firms – a research topic that is covered under entrepreneurship. An interesting recent piece of my scholarship discusses the “Fredo-Effect” (think of Fredo Corleone from “The Godfather”). This effect means that in about 35 percent of all family firms, family members are employed that do more harm than good. If a Fredo is employed in a family firm, it has unique behavioral and performance implications for family firms,” said Kellermanns, who has experience personally and professionally. “Growing up in a family firm that is over 100 years old, I have retail and real estate experience as well as consulting experience. In addition, I regularly advise family businesses.”

Kellermanns has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in a variety of journals including Organization Science, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Family Business Review and Academy of Management Learning and Education. He and colleagues received both the 2015 and 2016 Best Paper Award by the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division and the 2015 AIS Best Information Systems Publications Award.

In addition to teaching in the MBA concentration in entrepreneurship, Kellermanns is the academic program director of the Doctorate in Business Administration Program.

“I find the students at UNC Charlotte highly motivated at all levels. The graduate students allow us as professors to have higher-level discussions as their personal background enhances the overall learning experience and discussion. Each type of teaching has its unique rewards,” he said.