Skip to main content

Dr Alexandra Dawson

Professor, Management
CIBC Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Family Business

Dr Alexandra  Dawson
Office: S-MB 14363  
John Molson Building,
1450 Guy
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2144
Website(s): LinkedIn
Google Scholar
ORCID: 0000-0001-6310-6169


PhD, Universita' Bocconi, Italy
MSc, London School of Economics, UK
Master's Degree ('Laurea quadriennale'), Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy

I am a Professor in the Department of Management and hold the CIBC Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Family Business. I have a PhD in Management and Business Administration from Bocconi University, where I was also a post-doctoral fellow, and an MSc Econ from the LSE. 

My research is in the areas of entrepreneurship (e.g., women entrepreneurs, founder teams, founder ownership) and family business (e.g., successor commitment, private equity investment, effect of family involvement in governance). I have published in several leading journals, including Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Family Business Review, Organization Studies, Small Business Economics, Journal of Family Business Strategy, and Corporate Governance: An International Review.

I have received the JMSB Dean’s award for distinguished scholarship twice: in 2014 as a mid-career scholar and in 2022 as an established scholar. I am an Associate Editor for Journal of Family Business Strategy and a Review Board member for Family Business Review (these are the top two journals in family business).

In 2014-17 I was the founding director of Concordia University's National Bank Initiative in Entrepreneurship and Family Business. In 2014-19 I ran the Concordia Small Business Consulting Bureau (CSBCB), supervising select MBA students offering business consulting services to entrepreneurs and business owners.

Prior to academia, I worked as a strategy consultant in London and Milan for seven years, advising businesses and private equity investors.

Areas of expertise

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Family Business
  • Private Equity

Teaching activities

Entrepreneurship (COMM320)
Entrepreneurial Family Business (MANA480)
Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures (MANA482)


Refereed Journal Articles (click on links for full text or email me for a copy)

Chadwick, I.C. & Dawson, A. (2023). From imposter fears to authenticity: A typology of women entrepreneurs. Small Business Economics, From imposter fears to authenticity: a typology of women entrepreneurs | SpringerLink

Ginesti, G., Ossorio, M., & Dawson, A. (2023). Family businesses and debt maturity structure: Focusing on family involvement in governance to explain heterogeneity.
Journal of Family Business Strategy, 14(2), 100563.

Dawson, A., Paeglis, I., & Basu, N. (2022). Founder teams and firm value in young public firms: An analysis of the moderating effect of founders' ownership power and team size. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 30(2), 232-251.

Gimenez-Jimenez,D., Edelman, L.F., Dawson, A. & Calabro, A. (2022) Women entrepreneurs’ progress in the venturing process: The impact of risk aversion and culture. Small Business Economics, 58, 1091-1111.

Kandade, K., Samara, G., Parada, M. J., & Dawson, A. (2021). From family successors to successful business leaders: A qualitative study of how high-quality relationships develop in family businesses. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 12(2).

Parada, M., Samara, G. Dawson, A. & Bonet, E. (2020) Prosperity over time and across generations: the role of values and virtues in family businesses.
Journal of Organizational Change Management, 33(4): 639-654

Dawson, A., Ginesti G. & Sciascia, S. (2019) Family-related antecedents of business legality: An empirical investigation among Italian family owned SMEs Journal of Family Business Strategy,,

Chadwick, I.C. & Dawson, A. (2018) Women leaders and firm performance in family businesses: An examination of financial and nonfinancial outcomes. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 9(4): 238-249.

Dawson, A. & Barredy, C. (2018) Private equity investment in family firms: The role of stake size and deal syndication. Venture Capital, 20(4): 355-376.

Dawson, A., Paeglis, I. & Basu, N. (2017) Founder as steward or agent? A study of founder ownership and firm value. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 42(6): 886-910.

Parada, M.J. & Dawson, A. (2017). Building family business identity through transgenerational narratives. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 30(3): 344-356.

Hjorth, D. & Dawson, A. (2016) The burden of history in the family business organization. Organization Studies, 37(8): 1089-1111.

Dawson, A., Sharma, P., Irving, P.G., Marcus, J., & Chirico, F. (2015) Predictors of later generation family members’ commitment to family enterprises. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 39(3), 545-569.

Dawson, A., Irving, P.G., Sharma, P., Chirico, F., & Marcus, J. (2014) Behavioral outcomes of next generation family members' commitment to their firm. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(4): 570-581.

Dawson, A & Mussolino, D (2014) Exploring what makes family firms different: Discrete or overlapping constructs in the literature? Journal of Family Business Strategy, 5(2): 169-183.

Dawson, A. & Hjorth, D. (2012) Advancing family business research through narrative analysis, Family Business Review, 25(3): 339-355.

Dawson, A. (2012) Human capital in family businesses: Focusing on the individual level. Journal of Family Business Strategy, 3(1): 3-11.

Dawson, A. (2011) Private equity investment decisions in family firms: The role of human resources and agency costs. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(2): 189-199.


D’Allura, G.M., Bannò, M., Dawson, A., Torchia, M., & Cesaroni, F.M. (2022). Women in small and medium sized family firms: Theory and practice. Piccola Impresa / Small Business, DOI: Women in Small and Medium Sized Family Firms: Theory and Practice | Piccola Impresa / Small Business (

Sharma, P., Debicki B.J., Dawson, A. & Kellermanns, F.W. (2017). Editorial: Behavioural issues in family enterprises. International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 16(1/2): 1-12.

Book Chapters

Cirillo, A., Dawson, A., Michiels, A.,& Mussolino, D. (2020) Financing the growth of family businesses. In Calabrò, A. (Ed.), A Research Agenda for Family Business. A Way Ahead for the Field (pp. 215-230), Edward Elgar.

Dawson, A., Parada M. J., & Gimeno, A. (2020). Growth through innovation and internationalization:Exploring the role of family business identity through narrative analysis. In: Kammerlander, N. & De Massis, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for Family Business (pp. 248-269), Edward Elgar.

Dawson, A. & Parada, M.J. (2019). Corporate governance in family businesses across generations: Exploring intergenerational issues, in Memili, E. & Dibrell, C. (Eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Heterogeneity Among Family Firms (pp. 115-139), Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, UK.

Dawson, A. (2019) Financial performance and corporate reputation in family firms: Is it about being good or being known?, in Colli, A., D’Allura, G.M., Faraci, R. & Goel, S. (Eds.) Family firms and institutional contexts: Business models, innovation and competitive advantage (pp. 170-185), Edward Elgar.

Dawson, A. & Parada, M.J. (2019). Corporate governance in family businesses across generations: Exploring intergenerational issues, in Memili, E. & Dibrell, C. (Eds.), Heterogeneity among Family Firms (pp. 115-139), Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, UK.

Chadwick, I. & Dawson, A. (2018) Women in leadership and family firm performance, in D’Allura, G.M. & Faraci, R. (Eds.) Governance delle Imprese Familiarie e Traiettorie di Crescita. Internazionalizzazione, Innovazione e Contesti Istituzionali (pp. 99-105), Franco Angeli, Italy (in Italian).

Parada, M.J. & Dawson, A. (2017) Exploring institutional entrepreneurship in developing countries. Co-preneurs in the tourism industry: A Bolivian case, in Ramirez-Pasillas, M., Brundin, E., & Markowska, M. (Eds.), Contextualizing Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies and Developing Economies (pp. 194-210), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.

Dawson, A. (2014) A look into the future: What is the next generation of family business scholars focusing on?, in Melin, L., Nordqvist, M., & Sharma, P. (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Family Business (pp. 629-642), Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Dawson, A. & Valentini, G. (2013) Acquisition and diversification behaviour in large family firms, in Smyrnios, K.X., Poutziouris, P.Z., & Goel, S. (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Family Business (pp. 719-733), 2nd Edition, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

Corbetta, G. & Dawson, A. (2011) Innovation and R&D policies in Italy. In Mian, S. (Ed.), Science and Technology Based Regional Entrepreneurship: Global Experience in Policy and Program Development (pp. 125-142), Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK.

Valentini, G. & Dawson, A. (2010) Beyond knowledge bases: Towards a better understanding of the effects of M&A on technological performance. In Finkelstein, S. & Cooper, C.L. (Eds.), Advances in Mergers and Acquisitions (pp. 177-197), Volume 9, Emerald Books, Bingley, UK.

Corbetta, G. & Dawson, A. (2007) Relationship-based and market-based models of interaction between private equity and family firms. In Cafferata, R. (Ed.), Industria e Finanza in Italia (pp. 247-261), Il Mulino (in Italian).

Dawson, A. & Lassini, U. (2005) External environment and growth of family firms. In Corbetta, G. (Ed.), Capaci di Crescere (pp. 227-253), Egea, Milan (in Italian).

Participation activities

Select Conference Presentations

Dawson, A. (2023). The trade-off between financial and nonfinancial wealth objectives: A story of a family business’s wealth and social value creation over four generations. EIASM Workshop on Family Firm Management Research, Naples, Italy

Dawson, A. (2022). Strategic response to a grand challenge: Rethinking the business model after emerging from organized crime. Strategic Management Society Conference, London, UK

Chadwick, I., & Dawson, A. (2021). “Man! I feel like a woman!” The role of positive gender identity evaluations for women’s entrepreneurship. Administrative Sciences Association of Canada (ASAC) conference, online

Chadwick, I., & Dawson, A. (2020). Do I (want to) fit in? Women entrepreneurs’ journey from imposter fears to authenticity. Academy of Management (AoM) conference, online


Associate Editor, Journal of Family Business Strategy
Review Board Member, Family Business Review

Concordia news

Back to top

© Concordia University