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A missing link in family firms’ internationalization research: Family structures

Abstract

Hennart, Majocchi, and Forlani propose and validate a new explanation of family firms’ internationalization heterogeneity shedding light on the role of a family firm’s global niche business model. This type of family firm can avoid the dominant internationalization problems usually depicted in the literature on family firms’ internationalization. Starting from the same diagnosis on extant research, we explore another perspective to explain this heterogeneity: the structure of the family institution. We examine the relationships of family structures, developed by Emmanuel Todd in social anthropology, to family firms’ internationalization. We explain how Todd’s typology of family structures can influence the new mechanisms proposed by Hennart and colleagues for family firms in Europe with a global niche business internationalization. Finally, using these family structures, we also reexamine two analyses on family firms’ internationalization. Therefore, we introduce a new perspective for research on family firms’ internationalization that is based on context and has critical importance for understanding family firms’ strategies. This new perspective has significance for international business research on family firms.

Résumé

Hennart, Majocchi et Forlani proposent et valident une nouvelle explication de l’hétérogénéité de l’internationalisation des entreprises familiales en mettant en lumière le rôle du modèle d’affaires de niche mondiale d’une entreprise familiale. Ce type d’entreprise familiale peut éviter les problèmes dominants d’internationalisation habituellement décrits dans la littérature sur l’internationalisation des entreprises familiales. Partant du même diagnostic sur les recherches existantes, nous explorons une autre perspective pour expliquer cette hétérogénéité: la structure de l’institution familiale. Nous examinons les relations entre les structures familiales, développées par Emmanuel Todd en anthropologie sociale, pour l’internationalisation des entreprises familiales. Nous expliquons comment la typologie des structures familiales de Todd peut influencer les nouveaux mécanismes proposés par Hennart et ses collègues pour les entreprises familiales en Europe avec une internationalisation fondée sur une niche mondiale. Enfin, à partir de ces structures familiales, nous réexaminons également deux analyses sur l’internationalisation des entreprises familiales. Nous introduisons ainsi une nouvelle perspective pour la recherche sur l’internationalisation des entreprises familiales qui est fondée sur le contexte et qui revêt une importance cruciale pour comprendre les stratégies des entreprises familiales. Cette nouvelle perspective est significative pour la recherche en international business sur les entreprises familiales.

Resumen

Hennart, Majocchi y Forlani proponen y validan una nueva explicación para la heterogeneidad de la internacionalización de las empresas familiares que arroja luz sobre el papel del nicho del modelo de negocio de la empresa familiar. Este tipo de empresa familiar puede evitar los problemas de internacionalización dominante usualmente descritos en la literatura de internacionalización de empresas familiares. Empezando desde el mismo diagnóstico en la literatura existente, exploramos otra perspectiva para explicar esta heterogeneidad: la estructura de la institución familiar. Examinamos las relaciones de las estructuras familiares, desarrollada por Emmanuel Todd en antropología social, para la internacionalización de las empresas familiares. Explicamos cómo la tipología de Todd para las estructuras familiares puede influenciar los nuevos mecanismos propuestos por Hennart y sus colegas para las empresas familiares en Europa con una internacionalización de negocio con un nicho global. Finalmente, usando estas estructuras familiares, también reexaminamos dos análisis de la internacionalización de empresas familiares. Por lo tanto, introducimos nuevas perspectivas para la investigación en la internacionalización de empresas familiares que está basado en el contexto y tiene una importancia crítica para el entendimiento de las estrategias de las empresas familiares. Esta nueva perspectiva tiene significancia para la investigación en negocios internacionales sobre empresas familiares.

Resumo

Hennart, Majocchi e Forlani propõem e validam uma nova explicação sobre a heterogeneidade na internacionalização de empresas familiares, esclarecendo o papel do modelo de negócios de nicho global de uma empresa familiar. Esse tipo de empresa familiar pode evitar os dominantes problemas de internacionalização, geralmente descritos na literatura sobre internacionalização de empresas familiares. Partindo do mesmo diagnóstico na pesquisa existente, exploramos uma outra perspectiva para explicar essa heterogeneidade: a estrutura da instituição familiar. Examinamos as relações de estruturas familiares, desenvolvidas por Emmanuel Todd na antropologia social, para a internacionalização de empresas familiares. Explicamos como a tipologia de estruturas familiares de Todd pode influenciar os novos mecanismos propostos por Hennart e colegas para empresas familiares na Europa com uma internacionalização de negócios de nicho global. Finalmente, usando essas estruturas familiares, também reexaminamos duas análises sobre a internacionalização de empresas familiares. Assim sendo, introduzimos uma nova perspectiva para a pesquisa sobre internacionalização de empresas familiares que é baseada em contexto e tem importância crítica para entender estratégias de empresas familiares. Essa nova perspectiva tem importância para a pesquisa em negócios internacionais sobre empresas familiares.

摘要

Hennart,Majocchi和Forlani提出并验证了对家族企业国际化异质性的新解释, 揭示了家族企业全球利基商业模式的作用。这类家族企业可以避免家族企业国际化文献中占主导的国际化问题。从对现存研究的相同诊断开始, 我们探索另一种解释这种异质性的观点: 家庭制度的结构。我们针对家族企业国际化研究了由Emmanuel Todd在社会人类学中提出的家庭结构关系。我们解释了Todd的家庭结构类型如何影响Hennart及同事为欧洲家族企业提出的全球利基商业国际化的新机制。最后, 我们利用这些家庭结构还重新审视了两个关于家族企业国际化的分析。因此, 我们为基于情境的对理解家族企业战略至关重要的家族企业国际化研究引入了一个新视角。这个新视角对家族企业的国际商务研究具有重要意义。

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Acknowledgements

We thank Editor-in-Chief Alain Verbeke and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Jean-Luc Arregle.

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Accepted by Alain Verbeke, Editor-in-Chief, 11 December 2018. This article has been with the authors for two revisions.

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Arregle, JL., Hitt, M.A. & Mari, I. A missing link in family firms’ internationalization research: Family structures. J Int Bus Stud 50, 809–825 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41267-019-00213-z

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Keywords

  • family firm
  • internationalization
  • family structure
  • institutions