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The internationalization of family businesses: A review of extant research

Tanja Kontinen and Arto Ojala

Journal of Family Business Strategy, 2010, vol. 1, issue 2, 97-107

Abstract: Among family businesses (FBs) internationalization has become a strategy for growth, and sometimes even for survival. This review article presents an analysis conducted on 25 refereed journal articles on FB internationalization. The articles typically portrayed the internationalization of FBs as a sequential process following the Uppsala model of internationalization; by contrast, some FBs were regarded as "born-again" global firms. In methodological terms, most of the articles focused on what-questions rather than why/how-questions. The articles did not make much use of internationalization or FB-specific theories. Our study takes a step towards clarifying the following issues: (i) the current state of knowledge of the phenomenon, (ii) the kinds of background theories applied, and (iii) the methodological approaches utilized. Based on our findings, we map out areas of research that are likely to advance the field of FB internationalization.

Keywords: Internationalization; Family; business; Literature; review; Strategic; management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:fambus:v:1:y:2010:i:2:p:97-107