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Internationalization of small family firms: the influence of family from a socioemotional wealth perspective

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posted on 06.01.2016 by Louise Scholes, Michael Mustafa, Stephen Chen
We explore the factors influencing the internationalization of small family firms. Based on interviews with six family firms in Singapore, we highlight the importance of (1) family harmony, (2) trust in external relationships, (3) social and business networks, and (4) organizational resources and capabilities in the internationalization process. We show how the socioemotional wealth factors of trust and harmony affect networking and resources, which in turn affect internationalization. We find that initial internationalization through exports is enabled through trust in family networks, but the typical family characteristics of a desire to maintain family harmony and distrust of outsiders have a negative impact on network creation and resource development, which constrains the extent to which the firm internationalizes beyond exporting. In order to move from the first stage (exports/similar markets) to the second stage (joint ventures/different markets) of internationalization, less emphasis on trust and family harmony accompanied by more emphasis on building external networks and resources may be necessary. We propose a new model of internationalization of family firms based on our findings.
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School

  • Loughborough University London

Published in

Thunderbird International Business Review

Pages

n/a - n/a

Citation

SCHOLES, L., MUSTAFA, M. and CHEN, S., 2015. Internationalization of small family firms: the influence of family from a socioemotional wealth perspective. Thunderbird International Business Review, 58(2), pp.131-146.

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© Wiley Periodicals, Inc

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VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: SCHOLES, L., MUSTAFA, M. and CHEN, S., 2015. Internationalization of small family firms: the influence of family from a socioemotional wealth perspective. Thunderbird International Business Review, 58(2), pp.131-146, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tie.21729. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

ISSN

1096-4762

Language

en

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