Ivan Lansberg
Ivan Lansberg

Adjunct Professor of Family Enterprise
Academic Director for Family Enterprise Executive Education Programs

Print Overview

Professor Ivan Lansberg is an organizational psychologist in New Haven, Connecticut. He is co-founder and a senior partner of Lansberg, Gersick & Associates LLC, a research and consulting firm specializing in family enterprise and family philanthropy. Ivan was a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management for seven years, and a Research Fellow at Yale’s Institute for Social and Policy Studies. Prior to his affiliation with Yale, Ivan taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. The son of an entrepreneur, he has personally experienced many of the issues associated with family business ownership.

Ivan is a frequent speaker at family business programs organized by universities and industry groups. Ivan has also helped establish research and executive programs on family business in many colleges and universities, both in the U.S. and abroad. These centers include the International Institute for Management Development, in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Montreal Institute for Family Enterprise; El Instituto de la Empresa Familiar, in Barcelona, Spain; and the Universidad de los Andes and the Escuela Adolfo Ibañes, in Santiago, Chile.

One of the founders of the Family Firm Institute, Ivan was the first editor of the Family Business Review, the professional journal of the family business field. For the past ten years, he and his associates have done extensive research on leadership succession and family business continuity. He has written widely on family business issues. He is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review his most recent articles include The Tests of a Prince (September 2007) and Cello de Familia (with Kelin Gersick) – on the governance and continuity challenges facing Latin American Family Enterprises - (August 2006). His latest book Succeeding Generations, published by the Harvard Business School Press (1999), is on succession and continuity in family enterprises. He is also a co-author of Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business, published by HBS Press in 1997. Ivan’s work has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, BusinessWeek, Fortune and Family Business magazine. His books and articles have been translated into many languages, including: Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

Ivan’s broad consulting experience includes work with family businesses in the United States, Asia, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He also participates on the boards of directors of a number of family companies.

Ivan holds Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. degrees from Columbia University.

Print Vita
Ph.D., 1983, Social Psychology, Columbia University
M.A., 1983, Social Psychology, Columbia University
B.A., 1976, Sociology, Latin American Studies, Columbia University

Academic Positions
Lecturer & Co-Director Family Enterprise Programs, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2000-present
Supervisor of Family Enterprise Chairs, Instituto de la Empresa Familiar, 1998-2001
Faculty Fellow/Curriculum Coordinator, Business Families Foundations, 1993-2001
Faculty Member, Universidad Adolfo IBAÑES, 1990-1998
Faculty Member/Coordinator, Senior Executive Program for Family-Owned Businesses, International Management Development Institute (IMD), 1989-1994
Professor, Yale School of Management, Yale University, 1983-1989
Co-Lecturer, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, 1980-1981

Other Professional Experience
Co-founder and senior partner, Lansberg, Gersick and Associates, 1999-present
Staff Member, Columbia University, 1979-1981

Honors and Awards
Junior Faculty Fellowship, Yale University, Spring 1987
Annual Distinguished Award for Research in Family Business, The Chicago Family Business Counsel, 1985
Neal Wehr Award, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce
Richard Beckhard Award, Family Firm Institute

Editorial Positions
Guest Reviewer, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences
Guest Reviewer, Academy of Management Review
Guest Reviewer, Administrative Science Quarterly

Print Research
Research Interests

Lansberg, Ivan. 1983. A Conversation with Richard Beckhard: On Family Firms. Organizational Dynamics.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1983. Managing Human Resources in Family Firms: The Problem of Institutional Overlap," Organizational Dynamics. Organizational Dynamics.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1984. Hierarchy as a Mediator of Fairness: A Contingency Approach to Distributive Justice in Organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology. 2(14): 124-135.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1988. The Succession Conspiracy: Understanding Resistances to Succession Planning in First Generation Family Firms. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1989. Social Categorization, Entitlement and Justice in Organizations: Contextual Determinants and Cognitive Underpinnings. Human Relations. 42(X)
Lansberg, Ivan. 1991. On Retirement: A conversation with Daniel Levinson. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan, Kelin Gersick and John Davis. 1990. The Impact of Family Dynamics on Structure and Process in Family Foundations. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan and Edith Perrow. 1991. Understanding and Working with Leading Family Businesses in Latin America. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1992. The Family Side of the Family Business: A Conversation with Salvador Minuchin. Family Business Review. V(3)
Lansberg, Ivan. 1993. Reflections of the Founder: A Conversation with Barbara Hollander. Family Business Review. VI(3)
Lansberg, Ivan and Joseph Astrachan. 1994. The Influence of Family Relationships on Succession Planning and Training: The Importance of Mediating Factors. Family Business Review. VII(1)
Lansberg, Ivan, Kelin Gersick and Michele Desjardins. 1999. Stages and Transitions: Managing Change in the Family Business. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2000. Governing the Family Company. Directors and Boards.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2001. The Reflective Practitioner: A Tribute to Dick Beckhard. Family Business Review.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2001. And When You Finally Reach the Top…. Family Business Magazine.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2002. From Back Office to Executive Suite –the Evolving Role of the Family Office. Private Wealth Management.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2002. Culture and Governance in Spain. Families In Business.(6)
Lansberg, Ivan and Kelin Gersick. 2006. Sello de Familia: Cultura y Gobierno Corporativo en la Empresa Familiar Latinoamericana. Harvard Business Review (Latin American Version).
Lansberg, Ivan and Maria Dolores Moreno. 2015. Preparing for the Transfer of Ownership. Business Families and Family Businesses: The STEP Handbook for Advisers.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2009. Ruling vs. Governing; On the dialects of governance. Family Business Magazine.
Lansberg, Ivan and Katherine Grady. 2009. Women in Asia Family Enterprises; Understanding the Past - looking into the future. HSBC Private Bank.
Lansberg, Ivan and Donna Leong. 2013. Should Private Banks Be In The Family-Business Business?. Trusts & Estates.
Lansberg, Ivan and Devin DeCiantis. 2013. The Art of Stewarding Businesses into Institutions. Italcementi Group.(29)
Lansberg, Ivan and Kelin Gersick. 2015. Educating Family Business Owners: The Fundamental Intervention. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 14(3): 400–413.
Working Papers
Lansberg, Ivan. Situational Factors Affecting the Choice of Distributive Justice Principle: An Experimental Study.
Lansberg, Ivan. The Boundaries of Justice: An Experimental Study.
Lansberg, Ivan. Is it Time to Take Family Influences on Administrative Behavior out of the Error Term?.
Lansberg, Ivan and Charles J. Fombrun. "Intergroup Processes." Academy of Management Review, October.
Lansberg, Ivan. "Are Behavioral Scientists Finally Awakening to the Importance of Family Businesses?." Contemporary Psychology.
Lansberg, Ivan. "Passing the Baton." Human Resource Management.
Lansberg, Ivan and Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez. 1988. La Empresa debe Continuar: Un caso de Transicion en un Consorcio Familiar. Caracas: Ediciones IESA.
Lansberg, Ivan and John A. Davis. 1996. Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business. HBR Press Book.
Lansberg, Ivan. 1999. Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business. HBR Press Book.
Lansberg, Ivan. 2007. The Tests of a Prince.
Ward, John L.Ivan Lansberg and Sachin Waikar. 2011. Carvajal SA: Building on a Centurey of Business Growth and Family Values.
Lansberg, Ivan, Mary Alice Crump and Sachin Waikar. 2014. Carvajal, S.A.: Building on a Century of Business Growth and Family Values. Case 5-313-503 (KEL872).
Lansberg, Ivan, Katherine Grady and Sachin Waikar. 2016. The Future of Bush Brothers & Company: Developing a Shared Vision for a Complex Family Enterprise. Case 5-414-754 (KEL936).

Print Teaching
Teaching Interests

Executive MBA
Family Enterprises: Success & Continuity (STRTX-455-0)

Executive Education
Family Enterprise Boards: A Program for Current and Prospective Directors

Family businesses are uniquely complex enterprises. This program empowers current and future directors of family-owned businesses to navigate the challenges posed by those organizations while learning to design, engage and lead boards that leverage their companies’ strategic advantages.

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Governing Family Enterprises

Join peers from leading family-run organizations to learn how family governance can help sustain business continuity, family unity and commitment. Come away equipped and energized to realize your vision for the future of your family enterprise with confidence.

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Leading Family Enterprises

For both established and aspiring leaders of a family-owned business, this program focuses on how to lead the family and the enterprise, manage the strategic and personal pressures inherent in such complex entities and strike an optimal balance between family and work obligations.

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