Title: Leveraging corporate theory to examine the internationalisation process of family businesses

Authors: Smit Suman

Addresses: Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Abstract: Multiple studies have been performed to understand the influence of the founder on key aspects of a family business (FB), such as its values, culture and performance. However, the literature lacks a coherent theory or framework to analyse the role of the founder in the internationalisation of a FB. In this paper, we leverage corporate theory to determine how the founder shapes the internationalisation strategy of a FB. We perform a case study on IKEA by interviewing 14 employees to examine the role played by its founder and the corporate theory he conceived for IKEA in determining its internationalisation strategy. Moreover, we review secondary data and company documents, and interview an academic expert to validate our findings. Based on these findings, we propose our founder-centric framework that may be leveraged by researchers and family business owners to measure the influence of the founder on the internationalisation process of family businesses.

Keywords: internationalisation; family business; corporate theory.

DOI: 10.1504/JIBED.2017.088710

Journal for International Business and Entrepreneurship Development, 2017 Vol.10 No.4, pp.362 - 378

Received: 05 Jul 2016
Accepted: 23 Aug 2016

Published online: 15 Dec 2017 *

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