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Social Capital and Values in the Internationalization of Family Firms: A Multi-Country Study

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Abstract

This study concerned social capital (SC) within the internationalization of family firms (FFs). We studied FFs from three countries of origin, with differing family structures (Finland with absolute nuclear families, France with exogamous families, and Taiwan with authoritarian family structures), each operating in three foreign markets or cultural contexts. We also conducted a recent study on the role of family structures on FF internationalization (Arregle et al., Journal of International Business Studies, 50(5), 809–825, 2019) as a starting point and applied literature on bifurcation bias (BB), specifically family values (Verbeke et al., Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 37, 449–477, 2020). Our interview data highlighted that different family structures were linked to inherited SC and that the value of conservation played an important role in FF international networking behavior. The Taiwanese FF based its decisions more strongly on tradition (related to religion and culture) and security than the Finnish and French FFs, in which conformity related to the protection of family members was the strongest family value influencing international networking.

Keywords

Family firms internationalization Social capital Strength of ties Family values Family structure Bifurcation bias 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and International BusinessUniversity of GreenwichLondonUK
  2. 2.CNRS, LEST, Aix-Marseille UniversityMarseilleFrance
  3. 3.LUT UniversityLappeenrantaFinland

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