A4 Conference proceedings

A process approach to the internationalization process of family businesses

LUT Authors / Editors

Publication Details
Authors: Leppäaho Tanja, Metsola Jaakko, Paavilainen-Mäntymäki Eriikka
Publication year: 2016
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2016
Volume number: 2016
Issue number: 1
Start page: 1
End page: 1
Number of pages: 1
ISSN: 2151-6561
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


This paper provides a systematic review of existing research on the internationalization of family businesses (FBs), focusing on the application of a process view versus a variance view. It continues with more detailed consideration of studies that apply a process view. Most definitions of internationalization emphasize its process nature. However, among scholars of internationalization, one-shot, cross-sectional studies are more common; these apply correlational analytic methodologies, i.e. a variance-based approach, as opposed to a process-based approach which would include time, dynamism, and longitudinal observations (i.e. process data) and provide a processual contribution. As a result of a review we conducted on articles focusing on the FB internationalization
covering the period of 1991-2014 we found 119 studies, out of which 107
were recognized as empirical studies. Almost half of the empirical
studies (N=48) contained neither longitudinal or processual data nor process-related findings. Only 7 articles had longitudinal data and also discussed the process of internationalization, identifying its phases, and discussing the explanatory features behind the phases (thus providing a process contribution). Our review suggests that the current understanding of FB internationalization is heavily variance-based. We thus recommend a more thorough use of process approaches in future research. This would involve collecting longitudinal process data, illustrating the phases of internationalization in the findings, and discussing the factors that might underlie the phases.

Last updated on 2019-08-01 at 12:46