In their research, family business scholars tend to focus solely on regular business organizations. The purpose of this session is to broaden the perspective to also include studies of unusual family organizations. In this session, Eero Vaara will present two recent papers focusing on unusual organisations. The first deals with how Japanese family companies deal with ancient identity statements (mottos) when pursuing strategic change. The second paper examines the role of strategic ambiguity in the Sicilian Mafia. He will also reflect upon how we can generalise the findings beyond the specific cases studied, and will discuss the realities of publishing such work based on his own author and editor experience.