Cristina Cruz

Entrepreneurship Department Head, IE Business School; Professor of Entrepreneurship, IE Business School; Director of the Banca March-IE Project to study family businesses at IE Business School


IE Business School

Born into a family business, Professor Cruz dedicates most of her teaching and research to studying organizations in which a family group is present and has an influence in strategic decision making.

The results of her research have been published in leading international academic journals including the “Academy of Management Journal”, “Administrative Science Quarterly”, “Journal of Business Venturing” or “Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice”. In recognition of this research work, in 2010, IE Business School awarded Professor Cruz with the “Research Excellence Award”, granted to the school´s best researchers.

Professor Cruz brings the results of her research to the classroom, where she tries to establish the idea that there is a need to preserve and transmit the entrepreneurial spirit to future generations. “The big challenge does not reside in preparing successors but in preparing the next generation of family entrepreneurs” she comments. In line with this underlying philosophy, inside her classroom the topic is not “Family Business” but “Entrepreneurial Families” and “Family Venturing”. The difference is substantial since the main focus is not helping family business to survive, but creating responsible family owners and more entrepreneurial family managers.

It makes sense that her teaching is very well regarded by her students and has also received international recognition. In 2013, the prestigious business school social web site “Poets & Quants” included her in the “40 Best Business Shools professors under 40” list.

Cristina Cruz holds a PhD in Economics and Quantitative Methods from Carlos III University, an Executive Development program in Family Business from IE Business School, a BA in International Economics from Manchester University and a degree in Economics from Murcia University.


  • PhD in Business Economics and Quantitative Methods, Carlos III University (Madrid)
  • Executive Development Program in Family Business, IE Business School
  • BA in International Economics, Manchester University
  • Degree in Economics, University of Murcia (Spain)


  • Head of the Entrepreneurship Department, IE Business School, 2014 – 2018
  • Professor of Entrepreneurship, IE Business School, 2004 – present
  • Director of the Banca March-IE Project to study family businesses


  • Cruz, C., Justo, R., Larraza-Kintana, M., & Garcés-Galdeano, L. (2019). When Do Women Make a Better Table? Examining the Influence of Women Directors on Family Firm’s Corporate Social Performance. Forthcoming in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice.
  • Cruz, C. & Justo, R. (2017). “Portfolio Entrepreneurship as a Mixed Gamble: A Winning Bet for Family Entrepreneurs in SMEs”. Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 55(4): 571-593
  • Garcés-Galdeano, L., Larraza-Kintana, M., Cruz, C. & Contín-Pilart, I. (2017). “Just about money? CEO satisfaction and firm performance in small family firms” Small Business Economics, Vol. 49(4): 825-839
  • Cruz, C., Larraza-Kintana, M., Garcés-Galdeano, L. & Berone, P. (2014). “Are family firms really more socially responsible?”. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 38(6): 1295-1316


Courses Taught

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