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The Internationalization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: the Effect of Family Management, Human Capital and Foreign Ownership

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  • Daniele Cerrato

    () (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

  • Mariacristina Piva

    () (DISCE, Università Cattolica)

Abstract

This paper focuses on factors affecting the internationalization of SMEs. Based on both international businessand and family business literatures, we develop three hypotheses that relate the internationalization of SMEs’ to familymanagement,human capital, and presence of foreign shareholders. Relying on data from a large sample of Italian manufacturing SMEs, we find that involvement of the owning family in management negatively influences export propensity but, once the choice to gointernational has been made, the degree of internationalization of the firm is not significantly different with respect to the composition of the management team. Our results also show that the level of human capital and the presence of foreign shareholders in the SME positively influence both export propensity and export intensity. Size and age of the firm as well as industry characteristics are included in the empirical analysis as control variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Cerrato & Mariacristina Piva, 2007. "The Internationalization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: the Effect of Family Management, Human Capital and Foreign Ownership," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises0748, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctc:serie2:dises0748
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    Cited by:

    1. D’Angelo, Alfredo & Majocchi, Antonio & Buck, Trevor, 2016. "External managers, family ownership and the scope of SME internationalization," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 534-547.
    2. Giorgia Giovannetti & Enrico Marvasi & Marco Sanfilippo, 2015. "Supply chains and the internationalization of small firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 845-865, April.
    3. Baronchelli, Gianpaolo & Bettinelli, Cristina & Del Bosco, Barbara & Loane, Sharon, 2016. "The impact of family involvement on the investments of Italian small-medium enterprises in psychically distant countries," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 960-970.
    4. Mitja Ruzzier & Jana Hojnik & Aleš Lipnik, 2013. "Relationship between Innovation and Internationalization of Slovenian Internationalized Companies," MIC 2013: Industry, Science and Policy Makers for Sustainable Future; Proceedings of the 14th International Conference, Koper, 21–23 November 2013 [Selected Papers], University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper.
    5. Radovan Savov & Juraj Cheben & Drahoslav Lancaric & Roman Serencéš, 2017. "MBNQA Approach in Quality Management Supporting Sustainable Business Performance in Agribusiness," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(44), pages 1-11, February.
    6. repec:krk:eberjl:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:205-223 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Bartha, Zoltán & S. Gubik, Andrea, 2014. "SME Internalisation Index (SMINI) Based on the Sample of the Visegrad Countries," MPRA Paper 57382, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jul 2014.
    8. repec:spr:manint:v:55:y:2015:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-015-0255-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:spr:rvmgts:v:11:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11846-016-0201-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Ankur Roy & Chandra Sekhar & Vishal Vyas, 2016. "Barriers to internationalization: A study of small and medium enterprises in India," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 513-538, December.
    11. Kaouthar Lajili, 2015. "Embedding human capital into governance design: a conceptual framework," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(4), pages 741-762, November.
    12. M'onica Clavel & Jes'us Arteaga-Ortiz & Rub'en Fern'andez-Ortiz & Pablo Dorta-Gonz'alez, 2017. "Measuring the gradualist approach to internationalization," Papers 1710.03526, arXiv.org.
    13. Desislava I. Yordanova, 2016. "Differences between Bulgarian Family and Non-family Businesses: A Multivariate Logit Approach," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 779-789.
    14. repec:ssi:jouesi:v:4:y:2017:i:4:p:502-515 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Desislava I. Yordanova, 2016. "Differences between Bulgarian Family and Non-family Businesses: A Multivariate Logit Approach," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 6(4), pages 779-789.
    16. Cesinger, Beate & Hughes, Mathew & Mensching, Helge & Bouncken, Ricarda & Fredrich, Viktor & Kraus, Sascha, 2016. "A socioemotional wealth perspective on how collaboration intensity, trust, and international market knowledge affect family firms’ multinationality," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 586-599.
    17. Musso, Fabio & Francioni, Barbara, 2009. "Foreign markets entry mode decision for SMEs. Key factors and role of industrial districts," MPRA Paper 32153, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Giorgia Giovannetti & Enrico Marvasi & Marco Sanfilippo, 2013. "Supply Chains and the Internalization of SMEs: Evidence from Italy," Working Papers - Economics wp2013_30.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    19. Christophe Volonté & Pascal Gantenbein, 2016. "Directors’ human capital, firm strategy, and firm performance," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(1), pages 115-145, March.
    20. Basly Sami, 2015. "Family Involvement in the Firm and Exports in the Family SME: Is the Manager’s International Orientation Influential?," Journal of Intercultural Management, De Gruyter Open, vol. 7(3), pages 69-99, September.
    21. Calabrò, Andrea & Torchia, Mariateresa & Pukall, Thilo & Mussolino, Donata, 2013. "The influence of ownership structure and board strategic involvement on international sales: The moderating effect of family involvement," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 509-523.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    internationalization; SMEs; export; family-based management;

    JEL classification:

    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • M16 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - International Business Administration

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