The literature has extensively investigated the relationship between family governance and family firm internationalization. However, the evidence remains inconsistent. Studies use divergent theoretical foundations and largely neglect the role of the home country’s culture. Drawing on the bifurcation bias approach, we overcome such inconsistencies by assessing a theoretical framework that consistently explains the relationships between family governance factors and family firm internationalization. Additionally, we show that the level of collectivism in the home country moderates these relationships, as it influences how family and non-family stakeholders deal with bifurcation bias and related dysfunctional behaviors. To this end, we conduct a meta-analysis employing 66 independent family firm samples with 36,868 family firms. Our results show that a family CEO and high family involvement in the board hamper family firm internationalization, whereas the second and subsequent generations in charge of their firms foster it. However, the strength of these relationships changes at different levels of collectivism in the family firm’s home country. We contribute to the literature by theorizing and empirically validating that family firm heterogeneity at both the firm level and country level helps explain family firm internationalization patterns.
- Florian Zapkau (Universität Wien)
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