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The Family Business Difference

Ken-Moores_ENHANCEDKey evidence to survival and success in family business will be shared by a prominent pioneering Australian educator during a free public lecture Thursday, Oct. 16, when he visits the Family Enterprise Center of Stetson University’s School of Business Administration.

The keys are rooted in the ways family business differs from nonfamily business in matters of trust, pride and talent, according to Dr. Kenneth James Moores, pictured left, widely acknowledged as Australia’s leading family business authority. His reputation is international.

Classroom discussions and other interactions with students are the primary focus of Moores’ first visit to Stetson, but local family business interests will find his address worthwhile, said Frank Barbera, Ph.D., associate professor of Family Enterprise at Stetson and FEC director.

The address will deliver lessons, said Barbera, for family leaders seeking to sustain their firms across multiple generations. Evidence has emerged as to which specific family business differences enhance survival and success, said Barbera, a research associate of Moores before coming to Stetson in 2013.

“I will highlight the differences of family business from nonfamily business,” Moores said of his public address, “and cover the what, where, how and why of these differences, using my own and others’ evidence.

“The three important emerging ideas are that the major differences essentially lie in the way family firms develop their non-financial capital. Specifically, trust that builds their social capital, talent that builds their human capital, and pride that builds their reputational capital.”

Moores is an emeritus professor of Bond University, Australia’s first private university. He came there in 1989 to found the accounting department and teach, but soon was dean of the business school, then vice chancellor. In 1997 he was appointed president and served six years.

In the meantime, he founded Australia’s first Family Business program at Bond and a center for research – the Australian Centre for Family Business. He stepped down as president to return to directorship of the Centre until he retired in 2012.

“Not only was the Bond program the first in Australia, no one had previously published on family business in Australia,” said Moores. He also helped found Family Business Australia, a professional association for the field and was principal architect of its acclaimed educational program.

In 2005, Moores was appointed a member of the Order of Australia, an order of chivalry, in honor and recognition of outstanding achievement and service to academia and the accounting profession in his country.

He holds numerous degrees from England and Australia and has published more than 130 works. His consulting business, Moores Family Enterprise, is based in Burleigh Head, Queensland, south of Brisbane where Moores was born and raised.

Before he and his wife visit DeLand, Moores will attend and present at the Family Firm Institute (FFI) Conference in Washington and speak at Northeastern University in Boston.

His presentation, open to the public, free of charge, is entitled “Trust, Pride and Talent: The Family Business Difference.” It will be at 7 p.m. in the Rinker Auditorium of the Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd. Stetson students can get cultural credit for attending.

Stetson’s FEC was founded 16 years ago and the speaker series soon afterward to connect students and university with successful family business leaders, experts and advisors. The series is being broadened, said Barbera, to include relevant speakers who are family business owners, practitioners and academics.

“Dr. Moores happens to be all three,” said Barbera.

Starting in 1998, with the nation’s second minor shortly thereafter, Stetson University’s School of Business Administration created the nation’s first major in family enterprise in 2004.

For more information on the public lecture by Dr. Kenneth James Moores, contact the Dean’s Office at Stetson’s School of Business Administration, at (386) 822-7405.

by Ronald Williamson