Adam Smith and Family Business

Published: 17 April 2024

22 May. Adam Smith and Family Business online event and discussion

laptops and hands

Adam Smith and Family Business

22 May 2024, 6.00pm - 7.00pm BST
Online (Zoom meeting)

In many ways, both Smith’s ideas and family business has suffered from a partial interpretation of their role in commercial society. Smith has long been associated with advocating for ‘big business’ driven by economies of scale, and maximising profit and shareholder value. This stereotype led to politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan to count themselves as fans Smith: accolades that sidelined a more rounded account of his work and recognition he was writing at a time when family business would have been a central pillar of the economy.

Similarly, family business has endured stereotypes around nepotism, myopic thinking and feuding, rather than its possibilities for agile thinking or socially-guided business strategies.

In this online event, two experts on modern business practice and Adam Smith: Professor Kathleen Riach and Professor Craig Smith will lead an interactive session alongside Martin Stepek and Ken McCracken (of the Scottish Family Business Community) on the topic of Adam Smith & Family Businesses. The session will cover areas including the role of empathy in business decision-making, the value of commerce to a flourishing society, and the relationship between the family and economy as systems of relations.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A and an opportunity to debate and discuss Smith’s ongoing relevance for Family Businesses. 

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First published: 17 April 2024

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