Associate Professor Chris Graves

Associate Professor Chris Graves
 Position Ass. Prof - Management & Family Business
 Org Unit Business School Office
 Telephone +61 8 8313 7108
 Location Floor/Room 10 37 ,  Nexus 10 Tower ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    Associate Professor 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, 2015, and 2017 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 completed a 4 year term on the board of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (, the leading global network of family business scholars.

    As part of his specialisation in family business, Chris completed 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"

    Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, Bower Place, 2017.

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

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

  • 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 following academic programs:

    1. Graduate Certificate in Family Enterprise

    2. Bachelor of Business Management

    3. Bachelor of Business Management and Accounting

    Chris also delivers a number of executive education-style courses to equip owners and managers with the financial literacy and leadership skills 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]

    Committee Member (2018 - present): Family Business Australia [South Australia]

    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 was a member of the University of Adelaide's Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee (a sub-committee of the University Council) from 2015 to 2018.

    Chris has leadership roles at Unley Park Baptist Church.



  • Files

The information in this directory is provided to support the academic, administrative and business activities of the University of Adelaide. To facilitate these activities, entries in the University Phone Directory are not limited to University employees. The use of information provided here for any other purpose, including the sending of unsolicited commercial material via email or any other electronic format, is strictly prohibited. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Entry last updated: Friday, 25 Jan 2019

To link to this page, please use the following URL: