Dr Chris Graves

Dr Chris Graves
 Position Snr Lecturer Accounting - Family Bus
 Org Unit Business School Office
 Email chris.graves@adelaide.edu.au
 Telephone +61 8 8313 7108
 Location Floor/Room 10 37 ,  Nexus 10 Tower ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Dr. Chris Graves is a Chartered Accountant, and director of the Family Business Education and Research Group [FBERG] at the University of Adelaide Business School. Chris has a Bachelors degree in Accountancy from the former South Australian Institute of Technology, a Masters in Economics from the University of New England, and a PhD from the University of Adelaide. Chris has been serving as an external member of the University Council's 'Audit, Compliance and Risk' sub-committee since 2014.

    Since joining the University of Adelaide in 2007, Chris has spent considerable time educating managers and owners of privately-owned firms. Each year, he is actively involved in improving the financial literacy of owners and managers through the University’s Executive Education and Masters of Business Administration programs. In 2015, in conjunction with Family Business Australia and the Government of South Australia, he introduced the NextGen eChallenge educational program to assist in the development of the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders in family-controlled enterprises. In 2015, he developed an owner leadership development program (‘Catalyst’) in conjunction with the Government of South Australia, industry associations and business owners.

    With regard to research, Chris publishes in top international journals such as Family Business Review on issues surrounding the management and performance of family-controlled SMEs. In 2006, he graduated with a PhD which investigated factors that limit the ability of family-owned SMEs to grow internationally, as well as the manner in which those obstacles can be overcome. His PhD research received an international award from the Family Firm Institute (FFI), based in the USA. In 2013 and 2015, he undertook the KPMG-Family Business Australia ‘National Family Business Survey’ and was an academic advisor for KPMG International’s study investigating the role of private equity financing in family-controlled enterprises around the world. He has recently completed his 4 year term on the board of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (www.ifera.org), the leading global network of family business scholars.

    As part of his specialisation in family business, Chris is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

    Chris is married with one child, enjoys cycling and is an active member of his local church.

  • Qualifications

    Doctor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide, 2006. Thesis was awarded the Best Dissertation Honourable Mention Award from the Family Firm Institute (FFI) in the USA.

    PhD thesis was entitled "Venturing Beyond the Backyard: An Examination of the Internationalisation Process of Australian SME Family-Owned Manufacturing Enterprises"

    Master of Economics [Accounting & Financial Management], University of New England, 2001. Thesis was awarded the UNE's DH Drummond Memorial Dissertation prize.

    Masters thesis was entitled "Identifying Recovery Candidates"

    Bachelor of Arts [Accountancy], South Australian Institute of Technology, 1992.

    Chartered Accountant [CA], The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, 2010.


    Dr. Chris Graves is currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice [completion end 2017] as part of his research and education focus on business families.

  • Teaching Interests

    Chris has significant experience in teaching Accountancy, Small Business Management and Family Business Management during his academic career.

    Chris is currently responsible for the courses "Small and Family Business Perspectives" (undergraduate course) which attracts around 300 students per year. He is the program director for the Graduate Certificate in Fmily Enterprise which will be offered from 2018 onwards.

    Chris also delivers a number of executive education-style courses to equip owners and managers with the financial literacy required for them to effectively carry out their managerial roles.

  • Research Interests

    Topics: Family Business, Small Business Management, Internationalisation, Financial Management, Management Accounting Systems.


    Because of his previous experience [both as an accountant and as a researcher], and their importance to national economies, Chris has a particular interest in the management, governance, growht and performance of family-controlled enterprises and issues surrounding family business advising.


    Chris is currently on the editorial board of:

    1. Family Business Review [A-ranked journal]

    2. Journal of Small Business Management [A-ranked journal]

    3. Journal of Family Business Strategy [B-ranked journal]

  • Professional Associations

    Board Member (2010-2014): IFERA [International Family Enterprise Research Academy]

    Chartered Accountant [CA], The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

  • Community Engagement

    Chris is a member of and actively involved with Family Business Australia, Australia's peak body for family-controlled enterprises.

    Chris served on the board of 'Baptist Churches of South Australia Inc.', an incorporated association consisting of 70 churches in South Australia, from 2010-2014.

    Chris is currently a member of the University of Adelaide's Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee (a sub-committee of the University Council)

    Chris is currently an elder at Unley Park Baptist Church



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Entry last updated: Friday, 3 Aug 2018

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