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Family SMEs' Internationalization: Disentangling the Influence of Familiness on Spanish Firms' Export Activity

Authors

  • Fernando Merino,

    Corresponding author
    • Address correspondence to: Fernando Merino, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, University of Murcia, Campus del Espinardo, 30110 Murcia (Spain). Email: fmerino@um.es.

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    • Fernando Merino is associate professor at the Department of Applied Economics of the University of Murcia, Spain.
  • Joaquín Monreal-Pérez,

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    • Joaquín Monreal-Pérez is assistant professor at the Department of Management and Finance of the University of Murcia, Spain.
  • Gregorio Sánchez-Marín

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    • Gregorio Sánchez-Marín is associate professor at the Department of Management and Finance of the University of Murcia, Spain.

  • Financial support provided by the Ministry of Innovation and Science through Project CSO2010-17761 is gratefully acknowledged.

Abstract

This paper studies the relationships between family involvement and internationalization of family small and medium enterprises (SMEs), examining the effects exerted by the three main dimensions that comprise the concept of familiness: power, experience, and culture. Disentangling the influence of familiness dimensions lead us to discover the combined effects of family's governance, generation, and culture on SMEs' export activity. The results, using the F-PEC scale over a sample of 500 Spanish firms, show that this multidimensional approach better identifies the determinants of the family SMEs' internationalization. Specifically, we find that the family experience and its culture orientation positively affect the firm's export activity, whereas family governance/management does not have any significant influence.

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