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Which factors improve the performance of the internationalization process? Focus on family firms

Q. Marin, A. B. Hernández-Lara, F. Campa-Planas and M. V. Sánchez-Rebull

Applied Economics, 2017, vol. 49, issue 32, 3181-3194

Abstract: This study aimed to analyse the impact that the financial features and characteristics of the ownership structures of international companies exert on the performance of their internationalization process, as perceived by managers, and attempted to detect differences between family firms (FF) and nonfamily firms (non-FF). In addition, the impact of these characteristics and others related to FF, such as family ownership and generation, on the perceived performance of their internationalization is analysed. Based on a sample of Spanish companies with direct investment in China, the results indicated that, from the managers’ perspective, being an FF and having lower financial leverage exerted a positive effect on the performance of the internationalization process. Moreover, the study proved that this performance was strongly and positively related to the financial results of the company, and this positive effect was even stronger in the case of FF. Finally, the findings also showed that FF with a higher involvement of the family in their ownership recognized a better performance of their internationalization process. These results will be useful for companies that are considering the value of internationalization as a strategy to improve or maintain their financial results, and they also highlight certain differences between FF and non-FF.

Date: 2017
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