La famiglia fa male all’internazionalizzazione dell’impresa? (Does the family hurt the internationalization of the company?)

  • Mariasole Bannò
  • Elisa Pozza
  • Sandro Trento
Keywords: family business, ownership, governance, successor, internationalization


Purpose of the paper: Our aim is to understand, thanks to socioemotional wealth, how family involvement in the business impact on the international expansion of a multinational firm.

Methodology: The sample is composed of 293 Italian multinational companies. Given the continuous nature of the dependent variable, represented by the degree of internationalization, we decided to adopt a multiple linear regression where the independent variable of family firms is a multidimensional one.

Findings: The involvement of the family in the ownership and in the board of directors is negatively associated with the level of internationalization. In contrast, the presence of successors favors the development of the business abroad.

Research limitations: The sample is composed only by Italian firms.

Implications: Both managerial and policy implication emerge. Family firms should consider to accept external equity shareholders and should involve successors in the business. Public incentive should be tailored to specific features, including the ownership structure and the managerial model at the parent company.

Originality of the paper: To the best of our knowledge no paper analyzed the impact of family firms on the firm’s degree of internationalisation.


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