A4 Conference proceedings

Building Extended International Family: Socioemotional Wealth and International Networking of Family-Controlled SMEs

Publication Details
Authors: Metsola Jaakko, Leppäaho Tanja
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Title of parent publication: The 22nd McGill International Entrepreneurship Conference
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


international network relationships and accessing international networks are
crucial for the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs) that cope with limited resources and capabilities. Foreign partners, who
can fill the resource and capability gaps, can act as bridges to facilitate
foreign market entries and international expansions of SMEs. Family businesses
(FBs) have received limited attention in internationalization literature in
relation to what characterize the foreign partner relationships of FBs and how
FBs initiate, develop, and maintain these
relationships for the purpose of internationalization. The distinctive nature
of FBs has been recognized in the literature, for instance, as they tend to
preserve socioemotional wealth (SEW), but we still miss evidence on the
connection between SEW and international networking. We conduct an abductive,
multiple-case study on eight Finnish family-controlled SMEs to investigate the
association of SEW with the characteristics and development of foreign partner
relationships. The results indicate that family-controlled SMEs, regardless of
the level of SEW, seek for trustworthy partners of similar size and identity,
who actively can serve and contribute to expanding the international network of
the case firms through their existing channels and networks, knowledge, and
suitable product portfolio. The results also suggest that the higher the SEW,
the more active approach to initiate, maintain and develop foreign partner
relationships. SEW, which extends to the international context, can be better
preserved through actively incorporating foreign partners in the “scope of SEW
preservation” as a part of the extended
international family, especially when having corresponding FBs as the partners.
Avenues for future research are suggested.

Last updated on 2019-24-01 at 14:26