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University Communications

Professor Sharma to Receive Honorary Doctorate from German University for Pioneering Research on Family Business

Pramodita Sharma
Pramodita Sharma

Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the School of Business Administration, will be awarded an honorary doctorate from Witten/Herdecke University on June 24 in Witten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

The honor is in recognition of Sharma’s contributions to the study of family business, which includes a widely used college textbook in the field, Entrepreneurial Family Firms (Prentice Hall, 2010), a multiple award-winning dissertation and numerous peer-reviewed articles in top journals. Sharma, who is editor of Family Business Review, serves as director of Successful Trans-generational Entrepreneurship Practices at Babson College, the only global applied research initiative on family business studies comprising 42 partner institutions in 35 countries and more than 190 scholars.

“Witten/Herdecke University and the Witten Institute for Family Business (WIFU) are pleased to confer the honorary doctorate to Professor Pramodita Sharma in recognition of her pioneering work and outstanding achievements in family business research around the world,” said Professor Arist von Schlippe, academic director at WIFU. “We are exceptionally proud that Ms. Sharma accepted to receive the doctorate and are looking forward to welcoming her in Witten.”

Witten/Herdecke has a full day planned for Sharma, who came to UVM in 2011 from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal where she served as CIBC Distinguished Professor of Family Business. Her itinerary includes a visit to a local family firm; an interview with WIR magazine; a garden cocktail reception at the university; and an awards ceremony highlighted by multiple speakers in her honor including Witten/Herdecke President Martin Butzlaff.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be receiving an honorary doctorate from such a prestigious institution known worldwide as a leader in family business," said Sharma, who is also scheduled to speak at the ceremony. “I grew up in family business and have spent a large part of my career conducting research and writing about issues such as succession, innovation and governance unique to family enterprises around the world. I'm grateful to have been able to contribute to the field in some way and look forward to collaborating with fellow researchers on these and other emerging issues in the future.”

Sharma continues to produce groundbreaking work on family business, having recently completed the Sage Handbook of Family Business Studies with two other editors and second edition of A Review and Annotated Bibliography of Family Business Studies, which annotates the 215 most cited articles on family business. She also spearheaded the launching of the UVM Family Enterprise Case Competition and the UVM Family Business Awards.