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.

  • Debellis, F., Rondi, E., Plakoyiannaki, E., De Massis, A., (2021): "Riding the waves of family firm internationalization: A systematic review, integrative framework, and research agenda", Journal of World Business, 56(1), 101-144.
  • Debellis, F., De Massis, A., Messeni-Petruzzelli, A., Frattini, F., Del Giudices, M., (2021):  "Strategic agility and international joint ventures: The willingness-ability paradox of family firms", Journal of International Management, 27(1), 100739.
  • Metsola J, Leppäaho T, Paavilainen-Mäntymäki E, Plakoyiannaki E., 2020. “Process in family business internationalisation: The state of the art and ways forward”, International Business Review, 29(2), 101665.
  • Kampouri, K., Plakoyiannaki, E., and Leppäaho, T., 2017. “Family business internationalisation and networks: emerging pathways”, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 357-370.