Title: Internationalisation of family-owned businesses in a geographically remote area

Authors: Hamid Moini; John Kuada; Arnim Decker

Addresses: College of Business and Economics, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA; International Business Centre, Aalborg University, Denmark ' International Business Centre, Aalborg University, Denmark ' International Business Centre, Aalborg University, Denmark

Abstract: This exploratory study uses a multiple case-study method of five family-owned firms in Northern Denmark. We examined a number of research questions, which were identified from the literature that may influence the internationalisation of family-owned businesses. These questions included: 1) locational liabilities; 2) degree of familiness exhibited by family-owned firms; 3) firm characteristics and nature of their products; 4) growth motive and access to information about foreign markets. Our findings suggest that internationalisation of family-owned firms is a function of its location, availability of infrastructure, family connection, and access to information about foreign markets. Although the owner of the most internationalised firm in the study was willing to give up short-term profits during the start-up period on international expansion, most of the companies in the study were unwilling to give up their short-term profitability. In addition, the more internationalised firms produce more of standardised products than customised ones; the technology contents of their products do not seem to be a determining factor in their internationalisation.

Keywords: family firms; family businesses; internationalisation; geographically remote regions; small firms; Denmark; remote areas; firm location; infrastructure availability; family connections; access to information; foreign markets; short-term profitability; product standardisation; product customisation; technology content.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2016.077621

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2016 Vol.8 No.2, pp.143 - 169

Accepted: 16 Jul 2014
Published online: 07 Jul 2016 *

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