In today’s global environment, international expansion is of strategic importance to firms of varied sizes, including family firms. However, family firms often tend to be inwardly focused and averse to growth, possibly reducing their potential to benefit from international expansion. We examine the relationship between family firms’ openness to external influence and internationalization using archival survey data from 489 U.S. family businesses. Results suggested that external influence in terms of reduced number of family members on the board, the frequency of board meetings, and participation in university educational programs were all significantly related to its level of internationalization. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Multinational Business Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 17, 2008
Keywords: International expansion; Family firms; Internationalization; Business identity