Faculty & Research

Dr. Ritch Sorenson

Professor of Entrepreneurship : Entrepreneurship Department

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Ritch L. Sorenson is the Opus Chair in Family Business and the academic director of the Family Business Center. 

Sorenson’s primary focus is family business governance. He and his family were third-generation owners of a bank. He has conducted national surveys about family business and has developed concentrations in family business at the University of St. Thomas and at Texas Tech University. Sorenson was an associate editor and serves on the editorial board for Family Business Review. He has sponsored several conferences at St. Thomas that have resulted in journal publications, a book titled Family Business and Social Capital and another book titled The Landscape of Family Business.

Sorenson’s interests include family business, leadership, conflict management, entrepreneurship and organizational communication. His research has been published in journals such as Family Business Review, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Business Venturing and Group and Organization Studies. In addition, Sorenson has provided executive education and management development to organizations throughout the United States, including Rohm & Haas, Union Carbide, Burlington Northern Railroad, Hoechst Celanese, Lever Brothers, Great Clips and  the United States Air Force.


Academic Background

B.A., rhetoric, Brigham Young University
M.A., M.S., interpersonal communication, Brigham Young University
Ph.D., organizational communication, Purdue University

Research Specialties

  • Family business
  • Governance
  • Leadership
  • Organizational communication 

Current Research

  • Governance in family business 
  • The landscape of family business 
  •  Family capital
  • Entrepreneurship in family business 

Major works

Significant Scholarly Honors

  • Best Dissertation Award, 2012, Family Firm Institute. Committee for Annette Rahael.
  • The 2009 Jack A. Dinos/Cox Family Enterprise Center Best Family Business Paper Award, Academy of Management.
  • Associate Editor, Family Business Review, 2008-2012.
  • Opus Endowed Chair in Family Business, 2007-present.
  • Trinity Companies Professor in Management, 2004-2007 , Texas Tech University. 
  • Best Dissertation Award, 2002, Family Firm Institute. Co-Director for Mark Hoelscher.