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Ten Clarenwater Thesis Award

  • Monday 22 January 2024
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Did you write a family business thesis in 2023? Please consider submitting it for the Ten Clarenwater Thesis Award!

Theses may be submitted in Dutch and/or English. The theses may cover all kinds of disciplines, as the family business topic is multidisciplinary. The winners will receive a cash prize and will be announced on our website.

The prizes are:

  • Winner Bachelor thesis € 1,500
  • Winner Master's thesis € 1,500

Selection process

The selection of submitted theses consists of two steps:

  1. A pre-selection by the Dutch Centre of Expertise in Family Businesses, if possible in consultation with your supervisor(s).
  2. The final selection will be made by a renowned jury, consisting of an entrepreneur who is active both nationally and internationally, a university (of applied sciences) professor and a family business advisor.

Selection criteria

  • Your thesis was written and assessed in 2023.
  • Your thesis was graded with at least an A or B+ (7.5/75% or higher).
  • Originality of the thesis topic and/or in how the research question was answered.
  • Innovative or contemporary character of the thesis.
  • Theoretical substantiation and empirical analysis.
  • Social relevance of the research results.
  • Practical relevance of the results.
  • The thesis is well-written and structured.

If you are interested in winning this award, please submit the following information digitally, no later than 15 May 2024:

  • The thesis including title, table of contents, bibliography and list of references;
  • Summary (maximum 2 A4). This summary must be concise, clearly stating the following points:
    • the research question;
    • the relevance of the research;
    • the recommendations and/or results of the research
  • The name(s) and contact details of your supervisor(s);
  • Your CV with current contact details;
  • A signed and dated participation statement.

Submission deadline: 15 May 2024.

The nominees for the award will be announced in July/August 2024. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of the award will take place during an event. The nominees will recieve an invitation for this.

Why this thesis prize?

International thesis award for research into family businesses.

Higher education pays (too) little attention to the world's most common type of enterprise: the family business. During their studies, most students learn little or nothing about the characteristics of entrepreneurial families and their businesses. Therefore, to promote more widespread interest in family businesses, the Dutch Centre of Expertise in Family Business at Windesheim University has presented an international thesis award since 2017. The aim is to encourage students to engage in this field and contribute to scientific and practical knowledge about family businesses.

The annual Ten Clarenwater Thesis Awards are for the best Master’s and Bachelor’s thesis.

We hope that the Ten Clarenwater Thesis Awards will help to widen interest in family businesses. The family business is the most common type of enterprise in the world, but it is largely ignored by academia. With these awards we want to make more students aware of the particular characteristics and influence of entrepreneurial families and their businesses.

Would you like to know more about the significance of Ten Clarenwater? 

Previous winners

Winners 2023

The winner of the best master's thesis: Tessa Dijkkamp from UvA and Vu Amsterdam.
Thesis title: Family Learning in Next Generation Preparation

Unfortunately, no winner could be named in the bachelor's theses category this year due to a lack of entries.

Read the jury report(opens in new tab)

Winners 2022

The winner of the best bachelor's thesis: Isabeau Jonkers from Windesheim University of Applied Sciences
Thesis title: Social sustainability in transport. 'A family business': An explorative research on how family businesses operating in the international road transport sector can ensure the welfare and social sustainability of their employees

The winner of the best master's thesis: Roel Jansen from Tilburg University.
Thesis title: The European business succession facilities regarding the acquisition of shares: necessary and efficient?

Read the jury report(opens in new tab)

Winners 2021

The winner of the best Bachelor’s thesis: Francesco Frontani, ESCP Business School, Paris, France
Thesis title: Renovating Capitalism through Corporate Purpose in Organizations: The Italian Cases of Brunello Cucinelli and Lavazza, Compared to the Opinions of the Academia

With an honorable mention for Thereso Grillo, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany
Thesis title: Innovation in Family Firms: a Qualitative Analysis of the Behavior towards Internal and External Sources of Innovation

The winner of the best Master’s thesis: Andrea Buratti, University Bergamo, Italy Thesis title: the Effect of the Identification of Family Members with the Firm on Entrepreneurial Orientation and Performance With an honorable mention for Liesbeth Rompelberg, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Thesis title: The Familial Character of Business Succession Facilities in Western Europe.

Winners 2020

The winner of the best Bachelor’s thesis: Ronald Moerman, Aeres University of Applied Sciences, Dronten, Netherlands
Thesis title: Non-successors of an Agricultural Family Business.

With an honorable mention for Julian van den Akker, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Zwolle, Netherlands
Thesis title: Shared Ownership: Shared Concerns?

The winner of the best Master’s thesis: Marc Kuijken, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Thesis title: Supervisory Board Effectiveness in Family Businesses.

With an honorable mention for Michiel Heerkens, AOG School of Management University of Groningen, Netherlands
Thesis title: Research into the Perception of Freedom in the Family Business.

Winners 2019

The winner of the best Bachelor’s thesis: Barbara Cornelissen, InHolland, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Thesis title: Investment calculation De Kleine Schorre B.V. With an honorable mention for Julian Elias Lessing, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany Thesis title: Open Innovation in Family Firms.

The winner of the best Master’s thesis: Shelley Beck Saunders, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
Thesis title: Parental Influences on the Next Generation's Intention to Join the Family Business.

With an honorable mention for Desiree Westland, Nyenrode Business University, Netherlands
Thesis title: Governance and Values in Family Business.

Winners 2018

The winner of the best Bachelor’s thesis: Geurt van Assen, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
Thesis title: The Influence of Subsidies and Stewardship Behaviour on Sustainability

The winners of the best Master’s thesis: Klara Selling and Gabriella Gustafsson, Jönköping Internatonal Business School, Sweden
Thesis title: Trust in Family Business – a Study of Employees’ Trust for the New CEO Post-succession

Winners 2017

The winner of the best Bachelor’s thesis: Paulina Grillo - WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany
Thesis title: Non-economic Goals and Family Firm Financing

With an honorable mention for Franziska Holle - WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany
Thesis title: Influence of Transgenerational Knowledge Transfer and Preservation on the Innovation Outcome in Family Firms

The winner of the best Master’s thesis: Katharina Hubmann Maastricht University
Thesis title: Multiple Identities in Family Firms: Exploring the Effect of Actual and Communicated Identity on Performance With an honorable mention for Lutz Stoffels Universität Witten/Herdecke Thesis title: Keeping the Knowledge Inside the Family Business at Transgenerational Change

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