Ritch Sorenson

Professor, Entrepreneurship


(651) 962-4252

Minneapolis Campus
1000 LaSalle Ave
Schulze Hall 437
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Ph.D., Organizational Communication, Purdue University
M.A., Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication, Brigham Young University
B.A., Rhetoric and Public Address, Brigham Young University

See publications in UST Research Online

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.

J-Term 2015 Courses
J-Term 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Spring 2015 Courses
Spring 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
ENTR 449 - 01 Family Business Innov. & Entre See Details * *
Description of course Family Business Innov. & Entre : CRN: 21958
Develop governance processes that establish innovation and entrepreneurship in the family business. Owners will participate in defining desired family outcomes that align with family mission and goals; identifying and assessing entrepreneurial opportunities to achieve those outcomes; reviewing entrepreneurial opportunities in light of business and family resources and capabilities, and desired social and economic impact; and developing decision processes to assess entrepreneurial opportunities. Family members involved in the business are expected to either audit this course or to actively participate in course projects. Prerequisites: ACCT 210, FINC 300 or 321; BETH 301 and senior standing.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
SCH 3160730-123006 Feb '15
SCH 3160900-110013 Feb '15
SCH 3160900-160020 Feb '15
SCH 3160730-103006 Mar '15
SCH 3160900-110013 Mar '15
SCH 3160900-160020 Mar '15
SCH 3160730-103010 Apr '15
SCH 3160900-160017 Apr '15
SCH 3160900-110001 May '15
SCH 3160900-160008 May '15
SCH 3160730-103015 May '15
Summer 2015 Courses
Summer 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
Academic and Professional Positions
  • Tenured Appointment to Opus Chair in Family Enterprise, University of St. Thomas - Opus College of Business, St. Paul / Mpls (2007 - present)
  • Tenured Appointment to Trinity Company Professor of Management and Family Business, Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business Administration, Lubbock (2006 - 2007)
  • Tenured Professor, Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business Administration, Lubbock (2000 - 2007)
  • Tenured Associate Professor, Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business Administration, Lubbock (1992 - 2000)
  • Associate Professor, Texas Tech University - Rawls College of Business Administration, Lubbock (1986 - 1992)
  • Tenured Associate Professor Department of Speech Communication, Iowa State University, Ames (1985 - 1986)
  • Assistant Professor Department of Speech Communication, Iowa State University, Ames (1978 - 1985)

Professional Memberships
  • Academy of Management
  • Family Firm Institute
  • International Family Enterprise Research Academy
  • United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Professional Service
  • FERC - Family Enterprise Research Conference,
  • USASBE - U.S. Association for Small Business Entrepreneurship,
  • FEUSA - Family Enterprise United States of America,
  • Family Business Review, Editor

  • Sorenson, R. (2013). How moral and social values become embedded in family firms. Journal of Management Spirituality and Religion, (10)(2), pp. 116-137
  • Spriggs, M. T., Yu, A., Deeds, D. L., & Sorenson, R. (2013). Too many cooks in the kitchen: Innovation capacity, collaborative network orientation, and performance in small family business. Family Business Review, (26)(1), pp. 32-50
  • Yu, A., Lumpkin, G. T., Sorenson, R., & Brigham, K. H. (2012). The landscape of family business outcomes: A summary and numerical taxonomy of dependent variables. Family Business Review, (25)(1), pp. 33-57
  • Sorenson, R., Smith, P. B., Peterson, M. F., Thomason, S. J., Ahmad, A. H., Akande, D., Andersen, J. A., Ayestaran, S., Bellotto, M., Bochner, S., Callan, V., Davila, C., Ekelund, B., Francois, P., Graverson, G., Harb, C., Jesuino, J., Kantas, A., Karamuskha, L., Koopman, P., Kruzela, P., Malyezzi, S., Mogaii, A., Mortazakavi, S., Munene, J., Pary, K., Peng, T. K., Punnett, B. J., Radford, M., Ropo, A., Sadhwani, S., Saiz, J., Savage, G., Szabo, E., Teparakul, P., Tirmizi, A., Tsvetanova, S., Viedge, C., Wall, C., Wang, Z. M., & Vanchuk, V. (2011). National culture as the moderator of the relationship between managers' use of guidance sources and how work events are handled. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, (42)(6), pp. 1101-1121
  • Hoover, J. D., Giambatista, R. C., Sorenson, R., & Bommer, W. H. (2010). Assessing the effectiveness of whole person learning pedagogy in skill acquisition. Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal, (9)(2), pp. 192-203
  • Sorenson, R., & Bierman, L. (2009). Family capital, family business, and free enterprise. Family Business Review, (22)(3), pp. 193-195
  • Sorenson, R., & Distelberg, B. (2009). Updating systems concepts in family business: A focus on values, resource flows, and adaptability. Family Business Review, (22)(1), pp. 65-81
  • Sorenson, R., Goodpaster, K. E., Hedberg, P. R., & Yan, J. (2009). The family point of view, family social capital, and firm performance: An exploratory test. Family Business Review, (22)(2), pp. 239-253
  • Sorenson, R., Folker, C., & Brigham, K. H. (2008). The collaborative network orientation: achieving business success through collaborative relationships. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, (32)(4), pp. 615-634
  • Sorenson, R., & Yan, J. (2006). The effect of Confucian values on succession in family business. Family Business Review, (24)(3), pp. 235-250
  • Sorenson, R., Hoelscher, M., & Hoffman, J. (2006). Achieving sustained competitive advantage: A family capital theory. Family Business Review, (24)(2), pp. 137-146
  • Sorenson, R., Marshall, J. P., Brigham, K., Wieling, E., & Reifman, A. (2006). The paradox for the family firm CEO: Owner age relationship to succession-related processes and plans. Journal of Business Venturing: Int'l. Entrepreneurship, New Bus. Devel. and Tech, (21)(3), pp. 348-368
  • Sorenson, R., Smith, B., Peterson, M., Schwartz, S., & Ahmad, A. (2005). Demographic effects on the use of vertical sources of guidance by managers in widely differing cultural contexts. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, (5), pp. 5-26
  • Sorenson, R., & Yan, J. (2003). Socioeconomic institutions, social capital, and entrepreneurship: Are they similar between East and West. Journal of East-West Business, (10)(3), pp. 5-29
  • Sorenson, R., & Yan, J. (2003). Collective entrepreneurship in family firms: The influence of leader attitudes and behaviors. New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, (6)(2), pp. 37-51

Books and Chapters
  • Daugherty, M. S., & Sorenson, R. (forthcoming). Family Business Landscape. Understanding the family business landscape: Key factors of family business success.
  • Sorenson, R. (2013). The Sage Handbook of Family Business. In L. Melin, M. Nordqvist, and P. Sharma (Ed.), Values in family business. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications
  • Sorenson, R. (2013). The landscape of family business. In R. L. Sorenson, A. Yu, K. H. Brigham, and Lumpkin, G.T. (Ed.), Owning family governance within the two dimensions of family business. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Sorenson, R., Yu, A., Brigham, K. H., & Lumpkin, G. T. (2013). The Landscape of Family Business. Cheltenham, UK Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Rothausen-Vange, T. J., & Sorenson, R. (2011). Social Capital in Family Business. In Sorenson, R.L. (Ed.), Leveraging family member capacity in family businesses. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Sorenson, R. (2011). Social capital and family business. Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Sorenson, R. (2011). Family Business and Social Capital. In Sorenson, R.L. (Ed.), Creating family and business social capital: A co-investigation with an anonymous daughter and granddaughter. Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Sorenson, R., Lumpkin, G. T., Yu, A., & Brigham, K. H. (2010). Society in embryo: Family relationships as the basis for social capital in family firms. Bingley, UK Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing
  • Sorenson, R., Yu, A., & Brigham, K. H. (2010). Advances in Entrepreneurship: Firm Emergence and Growth. In T. Lumpkin, A. Stewart & J. Katz (Ed.), Taking stock of one decade of research: An outcome-based framework for teaching family business (pp. 367-375). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing

Research Interests
  • Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Family Business
  • Governance
  • Leadership

Awards and Honors
  • Best Family Business Review Article Award (Honorable Mention, Family Firm Institute, 2013
  • Best Dissertation Award, Family Firm Institute, 2012
  • Jack A. Dinos/ Cox Family Enterprise Center Best Family Business Paper Award, Academy of Management, 2009
  • Opus Distinguished Chair in Family Enterprise, Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, 2007