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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
MSc, London School of Economics
'Laurea' (equivalent to Master of Science), Università degli Studi di Palermo

Dr Alexandra Dawson is a Professor in the Department of Management and holds the CIBC Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and Family Business. She has a PhD in Management and Business Administration from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), where she was also a post-doctoral fellow, and an MSc Econ from the London School of Economics (London, UK). 

Dr Dawson's research is in the areas of entrepreneurship and family business. She has published in several journals, including Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Family Business Review, Journal of Family Business Strategy, Organization Studies, Small Business Economics, and Corporate Governance: An International Review. Her research focuses on topics such as succession, organizational commitment, and private equity investment decisions in family businesses. Her recent research is also about the role of gender diversity in entrepreneurship and top management teams. She has received the JMSB Dean’s award for distinguished scholarship twice, in 2014 as a mid-career scholar and in 2022 as an established scholar. Dr Dawson is an Associate Editor for Journal of Family Business Strategy and is on the Review Board for Family Business Review.

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

Prior to academia, Dr Dawson worked in strategy consulting in London and Milan, 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. (In Press). From imposter fears to authenticity: A typology of women entrepreneurs. Small Business EconomicsFrom imposter fears to authenticity: a typology of women entrepreneurs | SpringerLink

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

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

Recent Conference Presentations

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

D’Allura, G.M., & Dawson, A. (2019). Reconciling innovation with tradition and history. Case study of the ‘Master Potters of Caltagirone’, International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA) conference, Bergamo, Italy

Bannò, M., Dawson, A., & Trento, S. (2019). Internationalization of family businesses: The role of female presence in boards of directors, 4th International Family Business Research Forum, International University of Monaco, Principality of Monaco.


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

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