Internationalization Behaviour: The Dynamics of Family Businesses SMEs' Specific Characteristics

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, February 2014 until March 2018 (finished)


Competence Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



What makes a FB different to a non-FB is considered to be the family involvement in ownership and management (Chua et al., 1999). This unique combination of specific resources called 'familiness' (Habbershon et al., 2003) result in a behaviour that differs from non-FBs.

As any other form of business also FBs have to take strategic actions in order to ensure further growth and sustainable survival. Due to the increasing globalization internationalization has become a major strategy for businesses to grow and survive (Benavides-Velasco, Quintana-García & Guzmán-Parra, 2013) and also FBs have to actively seek international markets (Kelley et al., 2011). Despite of the economic significance of FBs (Schulze & Gedajlovic, 2010) little scholarly attention has been paid to the internationalization of FBs (Mitter et al., 2014) and the current research in the field of FB internationalization shows on the one hand numerous important findings and at the same time contradictory and ambiguous results (Okoroafo & Perry, 2010). However, there are some studies addressing the differences in the internationalization behaviour of FBs and non-FBs (Calabro & Mussolino, 2013) but until today insights from a more general perspective are still lacking and differences between FB and non-FBs remain unclear.


SME, Family Owned Companies, Internationalization, Growth