Family Ownership and the International Involvement of Taiwan's High-Technology Firms: The Moderating Effect of High-Discretion Organizational Slack

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abstract

This study examined the combined effect of family ownership and high-discretion organizational slack on the international involvement of Taiwanese firms. Employing a sample of 179 publicly listed high-tech firms in Taiwan over a period of 6 years (2000–2005), we found that firms with high levels of international involvement, that is, a higher degree of internationalization, (i) were not closely held, and (ii) were not excessively controlled by the family. Further, high-discretion organizational slack (indicated by resources that can be deployed in a flexible fashion such as in cash and receivables) moderated the negative relationship between family control and international involvement. This relationship is stronger with a higher level of high-discretion slack. The results support the hypothesis that family control and high-discretion organizational slack negatively influence the decision to internationalize.

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