The alchemy of family enterprises' internationalisation: dexterous movers or prodigal laggards?
by Beate Cesinger; Ricarda Bouncken; Viktor Fredrich; Sascha Kraus
European J. of International Management (EJIM), Vol. 8, No. 6, 2014

Abstract: Our empirical study among 112 German firms investigates how psychic distance, cultural distance and relative perceived performance impact the speed of internationalisation among family firms vs. non-family firms. Using partial least squares structural equation modelling, we uncovered two significant findings: family enterprises internationalise significantly slower than non-family enterprises and psychic distance is a distinct internationalisation barrier for family enterprises. Further, active motivation for success remains a driving force, while a phlegmatic pace can be observed once a saturation effect has occurred. Accordingly, firms with a medium level of relative perceived performance approach international markets proactively. Focusing on perceptions of the decision maker in family vs. non-family firms, we offer a nuanced perspective on internationalisation speed. The observed effects indicate that actors' subjective reality impacts the proactivity of international market entry.

Online publication date: Wed, 27-Aug-2014

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