Internationalisation of Family Firms

Family firms, i.e. firms where the owning family has the ability to strongly influence decision-making processes and the willingness to transfer the firm to future generations, represent more than one third of S&P 500 firms in the US, over 90% of European firms, and significantly contribute to the growth of economies in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, generating over 70% of annual global GDP.

Family businesses are largely driven by socioemotional considerations (i.e. firm’s non-financial aspects that meet the family’s social and affective needs) that go well beyond a mere financial efficiency logic. Therefore, decisions regarding international activities likely to diverge from those of MNEs with dispersed ownership. Hence, family firm phenomena and context offer a great opportunity to challenge, extend, and enrich mainstream theories in International Business and other fields.

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