Ritch Sorenson

Professor,

sore2891@stthomas.edu

(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.

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
Fall 2015 Courses
Fall 2015 Courses
Crs - Sec Title Days Time Location
ENTR 349 - 01 Family Business Ownership - - - R - - - 1730 - 2115 MCH 116
Description of course Family Business Ownership : CRN: 42914
Students will learn how to identify, develop and organize family resources for business ownership and for other family initiatives such as philanthropy and community service. Family resources include family aptitudes, knowledge, experience, skills, identity and culture. Methods for organizing family initiatives include defining family mission, values, and goals; establishing guidelines/policies, and developing governance and decision-making structures, including boards of directors or advisors. Students in this section are expected to have a parent or other significant relative associated with the business attend the class OR to review content of each class with families. Prerequisite: Junior standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENTR 349 - 02 Family Business Ownership See Details * *
Description of course Family Business Ownership : CRN: 42915
Students will learn how to identify, develop and organize family resources for business ownership and for other family initiatives such as philanthropy and community service. Family resources include family aptitudes, knowledge, experience, skills, identity and culture. Methods for organizing family initiatives include defining family mission, values, and goals; establishing guidelines/policies, and developing governance and decision-making structures, including boards of directors or advisors. Prerequisite: Junior standing

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
SCH 3140900-110011 Sep '15
SCH 3140900-110018 Sep '15
SCH 3140900-160025 Sep '15
SCH 3140900-110009 Oct '15
SCH 3140900-160016 Oct '15
SCH 3140900-110023 Oct '15
SCH 3140900-160006 Nov '15
SCH 3140900-110013 Nov '15
SCH 3140900-160004 Dec '15
SCH 3140900-110011 Dec '15
ENTR 705 - 201 Family Business Mgmt - - - R - - - 1730 - 2115 MCH
Description of course Family Business Mgmt : CRN: 42923
The course explores the challenges and opportunities facing individuals and families involved in business relationships. Topics include family business dynamics, entrepreneurial influences, handling conflict, career planning, succession, strategic planning and survival skills as a son or daughter. The course uses lecture, discussion, case studies and frequent guest speakers. The major assignments involve the development of individual projects related to the organization, participation and succession issues in your family business. You must be involved in a family business relationship and are strongly encouraged to bring your parents or other significant family members to audit the course. -- Prerequisite: Standard core courses

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
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

Publications

Books and Chapters

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

Presentations