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There has been a growing realization that family firms and SMEs in general need optimal decision-making structures in order to realize the firm’s potential for growth and innovation. Strategic leadership is therefore a necessity. Strategic leadership entails the ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, and empower others to create strategic change as necessary. Considering this, RCEF’s research focuses on the performance of top management teams and boards of directors and the factors that can influence their functioning.

Closely linked to the research domain of strategic leadership is the domain of succession. Succession is one of the main challenges faced by all types of organizations including family firms and SMEs. When the firm’s succession process does not evolve smoothly, the continuity and prosperity of the firm may be endangered. Within this domain, the research focus of RCEF includes succession by a nonfamily CEO in a family firm, the planning of leadership succession and its antecedents, the financing of ownership succession, and the post-succession development paths. Furthermore, also the collaboration between those two important governance mechanisms will be taken into account as recent literature states that both governance bodies cannot function independently.