All roads lead to Rome: Internationalization pathways of family-owned SMEs

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Stieg, P., Hora, W., Niemand, T., Kraus, S., & Filser, M. (2017). All roads lead to Rome: Internationalization pathways of family-owned SMEs. International Journal of Business Strategy, 17(3), 47-64. (VHB_3: C)

Publication type

Article in Scientific Journal


This study aims to investigate how different configurational sets of Socio-Emotional Wealth (SEW), Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), Collaboration Intensity (CI), Absorptive Capacity (AC), and Relational Knowledge (RK) shape the international performance of family-owned firms. Drawing on a sample of 297 small and medium-sized (SMEs) family firms, we applied a Fuzzy Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA). Results indicate that several combinations of these family firm characteristics can lead to international success, with no permanently required key characteristic. By this, we broaden the understanding of the intersection between family firm and SMEs internationalization with respect to the major intra-organizational and network-related variables. Second, from a practical perspective, we offer family-owned SMEs a basis for setting up internal capabilities to achieve international success.


Organizational Units

  • Chair of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management

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