Sanders Professor for Family Business at the School of Business Administration, University of Vermont.
Starting with her multiple-award winning dissertation work on succession in Canadian family enterprises, Sharma’s research on the succession processes, governance, innovation, next generation issues and the unique dynamics underlying family firms has been honored with several international awards. She is amongst the most frequently cited scholars in family business studies. In addition to five co-authored books, she has published about fifty scholarly articles and book chapters on family business studies. Her book on Entrepreneurial Family Firms (w. Hoy) is being used in family business courses around the world and has been translated into Mandarin. And, the SAGE Handbook of Family Business (w. Melin and Nordqvist) is described as a ‘must read’ and ‘critical resource for all students and scholars of family business’.
Sharma is active in leadership and advisory roles in a number of professional associations. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Family Business Review (FBR) – SSCI listed Top 20 Business journal. With Mark Green, she co-founded Family Enterprise Research Conference in 2005. Now, in its tenth year, this annual conference attracts leading family business scholars from around the world. In 2013, she established the UVMs Family Business Awards and the Global Family Enterprise Case Competition. In two years, this competition has attracted over four hundred attendees and student teams from twenty-three leading universities in family business education.
In 2012, she received the prestigious Barbara Hollander award at the 25th anniversary conference of the Family Firm Institute. This year, she will receive an honorary doctorate from the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany.
Sharma maintains close links with the business community. Supported by various private and government agencies, her research is well received both in academic and practitioner outlets. She is a frequent speaker at gatherings of family business leaders around the world. This interaction enables her to share insights from evidence based research with practitioners while ensuring that her research remains focused on issues of significant importance to the family business community. Experiences and close interactions with her own family’s enterprises help keep her professional work rooted into the realties and complex dynamics of these fascinating enterprises that dominate the economic and societal landscape around the world.