Strategic Decisions in Family Businesses

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2013 until July 2016 (finished)


Competence Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



Firms internationalize for a plethora of reasons. Some are forced to explore alternate opportunities due to shrinking domestic markets. Others pursue internationalization strategies intentionally, as they want to maximize profits and create economies of scale. Still others internationalize because it is an inevitable response to technological advancement. Today firms find themselves in situations whereby technology has advanced to such an extent that reaching customers across borders has now become comparatively easy and, importantly, economically viable.
Especially family firms seem to profit from internationalization and have a greater chance of survival, when they stretch their activities to more than their domestic market. This also marks the great importance of this topic for family firm research, nevertheless academic research has neglected this important issue. It is surprising that research on family firms and family firm internationalization has not discovered family firms as a promising and necessary research field much earlier, as family firms represents the vast majority of enterprises worldwide.
Despite this rising research interest on the phenomenon of family firm internationalization and the enormous importance for the most economies, it is also surprising that there has been almost no evidence from German speaking countries.
Consequently it is this obvious importance of family firms in the German speaking economies, as well as the lack of family firm internationalization knowledge in academic research, the dissertation will focus on.

Reference to Liechtenstein

Der deutschsprachige Wirtschaftsraum zeichnet sich durch die enorme Bedeutung von Familienunternehmen für die jeweiligen Volkswirtschaften aus. Dies gilt insbesondere auch für Liechtenstein, in dem Familienunternehmen durch die Kleinheit des Heimatmarktes fast ausnahmslos gezwungen sind zu internationalisieren.


Entrepreneurship, Family Owned Companies, Strategy, Socioemotional Wealth, Internationalization