Thomas Zellweger

Thomas Zellweger

Thomas Zellweger

Prof. Dr.

Full Professor of Business Administration with Special Emphasis on Family Businesses

Büro 1-356
Dufourstrasse 40a
9000 St. Gallen
Main Focuses

Family business, entrepreneurship, succession, corporate governance, strategic management

Fields of research

Family business



Professional Career

Visiting Professor, St. Gallen Institute of Management, Singapore
Visiting Professor, Babson College, USA
Visiting Professor, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada
Visiting Professor, University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany
Derivative Consulting, Brussels, Belgium
Helbling Corporate Finance, Zurich, Switzerland
Arthur Andersen, Zurich, Switzerland

Teaching Activities

Managing the Family Business (graduate)
Entrepreneurship (graduate)


Family Firm Governance and Strategy
Succession in Family Firms
Entrepreneurial Finance


International Family Enterprise Research Academy
Family Firm Institute
Family Enterprise Reseach Conference
Academy of Management, Entrepreneurship Division, country Ambassador Switzerland


- 2020: Equa Best Paper Award, 6th International Forum on Mittelstand, University of Mannheim
- 2020: Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, Entrepreneurship Division
- 2020: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: unter den einflussreichsten Ökonomen Deutschlands (Forschung)
- 2019: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: amongst the most influential economists in Germany (research)
- 2019: Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, Strategy Division
- 2018: Best Management Book of the Year Award by the European Academy of Management (EURAM) for «Managing the Family Business: Theory and Practice»
- 2017: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: amongst the most influential economists in Germany (research)
- 2016: All University best teacher award nominee
- 2016: Emerald Citations of Excellence for 2016
- 2015: Jürgen-Hauschildt-Preis for best innovation paper
- 2014: Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, Entrepreneurship Division
- 2014: Best Paper Award, Deutschsprachiges Family Business Forschertreffen
- 2012: Best Paper Nominee, International Family Enterprise Research Academy
- 2012: Jeff Rothstein Award, International Family Enterprise Research Academy
- 2011: Best unpublished paper award, Family Firm Institute
- 2011: Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, Ent. Division
- 2009: Outstanding Reviewer Award, Family Business Review
- 2008: Best Unpublished Paper Award, Family Firm Institute
- 2008: Family Enterprise Research Conference, Honorable Mention
- 2008: JSBM Office Depot Best Paper Award at USASBE
- 2007: Joe Goodman Award of the Family Firm Institute
- 2007: Grant by Swiss National Research Foundation (SNF)
- 2006: Honorable Mention Best Doctoral Dissertation Award Family Firm Institute
- 2006: Wehrhahn Award at University of St. Gallen: Best dissertation

Editorial Board

Editorial Board Member Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice
Editorial Board Member Journal of Business Venturing
Editorial Board Member Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Editorial Board Member Family Business Review 

Additional Information

Thomas Zellweger holds the Chair in Family Business at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland, where he is also the Director of the Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (KMU-HSG). He currently serves as the vice president for faculty and research at the University. After two years as a marketing director in a fintech startup in Brussels, he completed his PhD at the University of St.Gallen. He was a research fellow at Babson College, USA, a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and is a permanent visiting professor at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany. His research has been published in the leading academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal and Organization Science, amongst others. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung counts him with his research amongst the most influential economists in the German speaking world. His research also received several international awards and has been discussed in the international media such in The Economist, Bloomberg, Forbes, and the New York Times. Thomas is a member of supervisory boards of family firms and advises family firm owners on governance and strategic questions.