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Entry Nodes in Foreign Market Entry and Post-Entry Operations of Family-Managed Firms

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Abstract

The twofold purpose of this study is to investigate the types of entry nodes that family-managed SMEs select to enter foreign markets and to identify whether family-managed SMEs change their entry nodes after the first entrance to existing foreign markets. In doing so, this study employs a qualitative case study design of eight family-managed SMEs operating in the Greek apiculture sector. The findings contribute to the literature of family firm (FF) internationalisation by bringing into light two socioemotional wealth (SEW) dimensions that affect entry node development. In particular, the findings illustrate that the investigated firms embarked on different entry nodes by building indirect relationships (triads or tetrads) to enter the international arena. This was mainly due to family owners’ identification with the business. The results indicate that post first entry into existing foreign markets, the investigated family-managed SMEs aimed at maintaining relationships with their entry nodes instead of searching to find new international partners. This was mainly due to an emotional attachment of the family owners with their entry nodes. Still, the investigated firms changed the type of the international business relationships with their entry nodes by engaging in higher committed relationships in existing and/or new foreign markets.

Keywords

Family-managed SMEs Internationalisation SEW Entry nodes Post-entry 

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationUniversity of MacedoniaThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Faculty of Business, Economics and StatisticsUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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