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The internationalization of family SME


  • Sami Basly

    () (CEROS - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur les Organisations et la Stratégie - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre)


Purpose – Owing to its specificities, the family small and medium enterprise (SME) shows a particular behavior as for the creation, development, sharing, protection and transmission of knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to study the specificities of the processes of knowledge creation and development in family firms. Design/methodology/approach – Through a questionnaire, hypotheses of the model were tested. The study is based on 118 firms belonging to various industries. After evaluating the reliability and validity of the items through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the model was tested through structural equation modeling (LISREL). Findings – The model retained induces the following conclusions. Internationalization knowledge positively influences internationalization degree of the firm. The conservatism of family SME does not directly influence the level of internationalization knowledge. The influence of conservatism on internationalization knowledge is exerted only through the decisional dimension of independence orientation. The independence orientation of family SME, then with its two dimensions simultaneously (decisional and resource independence), does not significantly influence internationalization knowledge. Contrary to decisional independence which influences indirectly the degree of internationalization (through the intermediation of internationalization knowledge), resource independence influences directly the dependant variable. The mediation of internationalization knowledge is thus not totally proven. Social networking positively influences the amount of internationalization knowledge. Research limitations/implications – A major weakness is the absence of a synchronic approach as the dependent and independent variables are measured at the same moment. A more longitudinal approach would be valuable to analyze the causal relationships between the independent variables and internationalization knowledge and internationalization degree. A second limitation is that the characteristics of the sample may limit the generalizability of the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Sami Basly, 2007. "The internationalization of family SME," Post-Print hal-00465863, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00465863
    DOI: 10.1108/17465260710750973
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Merino, Fernando & Monreal-Pérez, Joaquín & Sánchez-Marín, Gregorio, 2012. "Family firm internationalization: Influence of familiness on the Spanish firm export activity," Kiel Working Papers 1770, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Andrea Calabrò & Donata Mussolino, 2013. "How do boards of directors contribute to family SME export intensity? The role of formal and informal governance mechanisms," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(2), pages 363-403, May.
    3. Sanchez-Bueno, Maria J. & Usero, Belen, 2014. "How may the nature of family firms explain the decisions concerning international diversification?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1311-1320.
    4. Marinos Stefanitsis & Irene Fafaliou & Joseph Hassid, 2013. "Similarities and Differences between Households’ and SME’s Financial Knowledge and Behaviour: A Greek Survey," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 63(1-2), pages 7-30, June.
    5. Liliana Grigore & Anca Maria Stanculescu & Andreea Mihaela Gagea & Ana-Maria Grigore, 2009. "The Role Of Knowledge In The Internationalization Process Of Small And Medium Enterprises," JOURNAL STUDIA UNIVERSITATIS BABES-BOLYAI NEGOTIA, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Business.
    6. 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.
    7. Kontinen, Tanja & Ojala, Arto, 2010. "The internationalization of family businesses: A review of extant research," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-107, June.


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