Internationalization of Family Business Groups: Content Analysis of the Literature and a Synthesis Model

Özlem Yildirim-Öktem, Nisan Selekler-Göksen, Nisan Selekler-Göksen, Nisan Selekler-Göksen


Family business groups are dominant economic actors in emerging economies and play an important role in economic development and globalization efforts of their countries. This study reviews the literature on internationalization of family business groups by conducting a content analysis on 80 articles published in selected categories of SSCI journals between 2000 and 2015.  Each article was coded along six dimensions and a model synthesizing the past findings was developed. Gaps in the literature were identified and avenues for further research were proposed, pointing out to variables and theories that may be considered.


Aguilera, R.V., & Crespi-Cladera, R. (2016). Global corporate governance: On the relevance of firms’ ownership structure. Journal of World Business, 51, 50–57

Astrachan, J.H., Klein, S.B. & Smyrnios, (2006). The F-PEC scale of family influence: a proposal for solving the family business definition problem. In P.Z. Poutziouris, K.X. Smyrnios, & S.B. Klein (Eds), Handbook of Research in Family Business (pp. 167-180). Northhampton: Edward-Elgar.

Bae, K. H., & Jeong, S. W. (2007). The Value‐relevance of earnings and book value,

ownership structure, and business group affiliation: Evidence from Korean

business groups. Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, 34(5‐6), 740-766.

Bae, K. H., & Goyal, V. K. (2010). Equity market liberalization and corporate governance. Journal of Corporate Finance, 16(5), 609-621.

Baek, J. S., Kang, J. K., & Park, K. S. (2004). Corporate governance and firm value: Evidence from the Korean financial crisis. Journal of Financial economics, 71(2), 265-313.

Banerjee, S., Prabhu, J. C., & Chandy, R. K. (2015). Indirect learning: how emerging-market firms grow in developed markets. Journal of Marketing, 79(1), 10-28.

Becker-Ritterspach, F., & Bruche, G. (2012). Capability creation and internationalization with business group embeddedness–the case of Tata Motors in passenger cars. European Management Journal, 30(3), 232-247.

Belenzon, S., & Berkovitz, T. (2010). Innovation in business groups. Management Science, 56(3), 519-535.

Beleska-Spasova, E., Glaister, K.W. & Stride, C. (2012). Resource determinants of strategy and performance: the case of British exporters. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 635–647.

Berrone, P., Cruz, C., & Gomez-Mejia, L. R. (2012). Socioemotional wealth in family firms: Theoretical dimensions, assessment approaches, and agenda for future research.

Family Business Review, 25(3), 258-279.

Bhaumik, S. K., Driffield, N., & Pal, S. (2010). Does ownership structure of emerging-market firms affect their outward FDI? The case of the Indian automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(3), 437-450.

Binda, V., & Colli, A. (2011). Changing big business in Italy and Spain, 1973–2003: Strategic responses to a new context. Business History, 53(1), 14-39.

Borda-Reyes, A. (2012). The impact of business group diversification on emerging market multinationals: Evidence from Latin America. Innovar, 22(45), 97-110.

Cardenas, J. (2015). Are Latin America’s corporate elites transnationally interconnected? A network analysis of interlocking directorates. Global Networks, 15(4), 424-445.

Carney, M. (2005a). Globalization and the renewal of Asian business networks. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 22(4), 337-354.

Carney, M. (2005b). Corporate governance and competitive advantage in family-controlled firms. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(3), 249-265.

Carney, M., & Dieleman, M. (2011). Indonesia's missing multinationals: Business groups and outward direct investment. Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, 47(1), 105-126.

Carney, M., Gedajlovic, E. R., Heugens, P. P., Van Essen, M., & Van Oosterhout, J. H. (2011). Business group affiliation, performance, context, and strategy: A meta-

analysis. Academy of Management Journal, 54(3), 437-460.

Casillas, J.C., Moreno-Merendez, A.M. (2017). International business & family business: Potential dialogue between disciplines. European Journal of Family Business, 7, 25-40.

Castañeda, G. (2007). Business groups and internal capital markets: the recovery of the Mexican economy in the aftermath of the 1995 crisis. Industrial and Corporate

Change, 16(3), 427-454.

Chabane, N., Roberts, S., & Goldstein, A. (2006). The changing face and strategies of big business in South Africa: more than a decade of political democracy. Industrial and Corporate Change, 15(3), 549-577.

Chari, M. D. (2013). Business groups and foreign direct investments by developing country firms: An empirical test in India. Journal of World Business, 48(3), 349-359.

Chen, Y.Y., & Jaw, Y.L. (2014). How do business groups’ small world networks effect diversification, innovation, and internationalization?. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31, 1019–1044.

Chittoor, R., Sarkar, M. B., Ray, S., & Aulakh, P. S. (2009). Third-world copycats to

emerging multinationals: Institutional changes and organizational transformation in

the Indian pharmaceutical industry. Organization Science, 20(1), 187-205.

Chittoor, R., Aulakh, P. S., & Ray, S. (2015). Accumulative and assimilative learning,

institutional infrastructure, and innovation orientation of developing economy firms. Global Strategy Journal, 5(2), 133-153.

Choi, B. B., Lee, D., & Park, Y. (2013). Corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and earnings quality: Evidence from Korea. Corporate Governance: An International Review, 21(5), 447-467.

Choi, H. M., Cho, Y. G., & Sul, W. (2014). Ownership-Control Disparity and Foreign

Investors' Ownership: Evidence from the Korean Stock Market. Emerging Markets

Finance and Trade, 50(1), 178-193.

Chrisman, J.J., Chua, J.H., & Steier, L. (2005). Sources and consequences of distinctive familiness: An introduction. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(3), 237-247.

Chu, W. W. (2009). Can Taiwan's second movers upgrade via branding? Research Policy,38(6), 1054-1065.

Chung, C. N., & Luo, X. (2008). Institutional logics or agency costs: The influence of

corporate governance models on business group restructuring in emerging economies.

Organization Science, 19(5), 766-784.

Chung, C. N., & Luo, X. R. (2013). Leadership succession and firm performance in an

emerging economy: Successor origin, relational embeddedness, and legitimacy.

Strategic Management Journal, 34(3), 338-357.

Chung, C.N. & Mahmood, I.P. (2010). Business Groups in Taiwan. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 180-209). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chung, H. M. (2014). The role of family management and ownership on semi-globalization pattern of globalization: The case of family business groups. International Business Review, 23(1), 260-271.

Colpan, A.M. (2010). Business Groups in Turkey. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 486-525). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dieleman, M. & Sachs, W.M. (2008). Economies of connectedness: Concept and application. Journal of International Management, 14(3), 270-285.

Elango, B., & Pattnaik, C. (2007). Building capabilities for international operations through networks: a study of Indian firms. Journal of international business studies, 38(4), 541-555.

Elango, B., & Pattnaik, C. (2011). Learning before making the big leap. Management

International Review, 51(4), 461.

Ertuna, B., & Yamak, S. (2011). Foreign equity configurations in an emerging country. European Management Journal, 29, 117-128.

Estrin, S., & Prevezer, M. (2011). The role of informal institutions in corporate governance: Brazil, Russia, India, and China compared. Asia Pacific journal of management, 28(1), 41-67.

Gallo, M.A., & Pont, C.G. (1996). Important Factors in Family Business Internationalization. Family Business Review, 9 (1), 45-59.

Garg, M., & Delios, A. (2007). Survival of the foreign subsidiaries of TMNCs: The influence of business group affiliation. Journal of International Management, 13(3), 278-295.

Gaur, A. S., & Kumar, V. (2009). International diversification, business group affiliation and firm performance: Empirical evidence from India. British Journal of Management, 20(2), 172-186.

Gaur, A.S, Kumar, V., & Singh, D.A. (2014). Institutions, resources, and internationalization of emerging economy firms. Journal of World Business. 49, 12-20.

George, R., & Kabir, R. (2012). Heterogeneity in business groups and the corporate

diversification–firm performance relationship. Journal of business research, 65(3),


Gomez-Mejia, L. R., Cruz, C., Berrone, P., & De Castro, J. (2011). The bind that ties:

Socioemotional wealth preservation in family firms. The Academy of Management

Annals, 5(1), 653-707.

Gökşen, N. S., & Üsdiken, B. (2001). Uniformity and diversity in Turkish business groups: Effects of scale and time of founding. British Journal of Management, 12(4), 325-340.

Granovetter, M. (1995). Coase revisited: Business groups in the modern economy. Industrial and Corporate Change, 4(1), 93-130.

Gubbi, S. R., Aulakh, P. S., & Ray, S. (2015). International search behavior of business group affiliated firms: Scope of institutional changes and intragroup heterogeneity. Organization Science, 26(5), 1485-1501.

Guillen, M. F. (2000). Business groups in emerging economies: A resource-based view. Academy of Management Journal, 43(3), 362-380.

Guillén, M. F. (2002). Structural inertia, imitation, and foreign expansion: South Korean firms and business groups in China, 1987–1995. Academy of Management Journal, 45(3), 509-525.

Guillén, M. F. (2003). Experience, imitation, and the sequence of foreign entry:Wholly owned and joint-venture manufacturing by South Korean firms and business groups in China, 1987–1995. Journal of International Business Studies, 34(2), 185-198.

Guillén, M. F., & García-Canal, E. (2009). The American model of the multinational firm and the “new” multinationals from emerging economies. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(2), 23-35.

Hoshino, T. (2010). Business Groups in Mexico. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 424-457). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Istanbul Chamber of Industry (2016). Turkey’s top 500 industrial enterprises-2016.

Jean, R. J. B., Tan, D., & Sinkovics, R. R. (2011). Ethnic ties, location choice, and firm performance in foreign direct investment: A study of Taiwanese business groups FDI in China. International Business Review, 20(6), 627-635.

Khanna, T., & Rivkin, J. W. (2001). Estimating the performance effects of business groups in emerging markets. Strategic Management Journal, 45-74.

Khanna, T., & Yafeh, Y. (2007). Business groups in emerging markets: Paragons or

parasites? Journal of Economic Literature, 45(2), 331-372.

Kim, B., & Lee, Y. (2001). Global capacity expansion strategies: lessons learned from two Korean carmakers. Long range planning, 34(3), 309-333.

Kim, B. (2011). Do foreign investors encourage value-enhancing corporate risk taking? Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 47(3), 88-110.

Kim, C. S. (2012). Is Business Group Structure Inefficient? A Long‐Term Perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Financial Studies, 41(3), 258-285.

Kim, H. (2010). Business Groups in South Korea. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 157-179). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kim, H., Kim, H., Hoskisson, R.E. (2010). Does market-oriented institutional change in an emerging economy make business-group-affiliated multinationals perform better? An institution-based view. Journal of International Business, 41, 1141-1160.

Kim, W., Sung, T., & Wei, S. J. (2011). Does corporate governance risk at home affect investment choices abroad? Journal of International Economics, 85(1), 25-41.

Klein, S.B.., Astrachan, J.H., Smyrnios, K.X. (2005). The F-PEC Scale of Family Influence: Construction, Validation, and Further Implication for Theory. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29(3), 321-329.

Korhonen, H., Luostarinen, R., & and Welch, L. (1996). Internationalization of SMEs: Inward-outward patterns and government policy. Management International Review, 315-329.

Kumar, V., Gaur, A. S., & Pattnaik, C. (2012). Product diversification and international expansion of business groups. Management International Review, 52(2), 175-192.

Lamin, A., & Dunlap, D. (2011). Complex technological capabilities in emerging economy firms: The role of organizational relationships. Journal of International Management, 17(3), 211-228.

Lamin, A. (2013). The business group as an information resource: An investigation of

business group affiliation in the Indian software services industry. Academy of

Management Journal, 56(5), 1487-1509.

Le Breton-Miller, I., Miller, D. (2006). Why Do Some Family Businesses Out-Compete? Governance, Long-Term Orientations, and Sustainable Capability. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 30 (6), 731-746.

Lee, H., Oh, S., & Park, K. (2014). How Do Capital Structure Policies of Emerging Markets Differ from Those of Developed Economies? Survey Evidence from Korea. Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 50(2), 34-72.

Lee, J. Y., & MacMillan, I. C. (2008). Managerial knowledge-sharing in chaebols and its impact on the performance of their foreign subsidiaries. International Business

Review, 17(5), 533-545.

Lee, J. Y., Park, Y. R., Ghauri, P. N., & Park, B. I. (2014a). Innovative knowledge transfer patterns of group-affiliated companies: The effects on the performance of foreign subsidiaries. Journal of International Management, 20(2), 107-123.

Lee, J. Y., Ryu, S., & Kang, J. (2014b). Transnational HR network learning in Korean

business groups and the performance of their subsidiaries. The International Journal

of Human Resource Management, 25(4), 588-608.

Lee, K., & He, X. (2009). The capability of the Samsung group in project execution and vertical integration: Created in Korea, replicated in China. Asian Business &

Management, 8(3), 277-299.

Lee, K. T., Hooy, C. W., & Hooy, G. K. (2012). The value impact of international and

industrial diversifications on public‐listed firms in Malaysia. Emerging Markets

Review, 13(3), 366-380.

Leonidou, L. C., Katsikeas, C. S., & Coudounaris, D. N. (2010). Five decades of business research into exporting: A bibliographic analysis. Journal of International

Management, 16(1), 78-91.

Liao, T. J. (2015). Local clusters of SOEs, POEs, and FIEs, international experience, and the performance of foreign firms operating in emerging economies. International Business Review, 24(1), 66-76.

Lin, K. V. (2003). Equity ownership and firm value in emerging markets. Journal of

Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 38(01), 159-184.

Lin, W. T. (2014). Founder-key leaders, group-level decision teams, and the international expansion of business groups: Evidence from Taiwan. International Marketing Review, 31(2), 129-154.

Luo, X., Chung, C. N., & Sobczak, M. (2009). How do corporate governance model

differences affect foreign direct investment in emerging economies? Journal of

International Business Studies, 40(3), 444-467.

Mahmood, I. P., & Zheng, W. (2009). Whether and how: Effects of international joint

ventures on local innovation in an emerging economy. Research Policy, 38(9), 1489-

Meyer, K. E., & Thaijongrak, O. (2013). The dynamics of emerging economy MNEs: How the internationalization process model can guide future research. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30(4), 1125-1153.

Miller, D., & Le Breton-Miller, I. (2005). Managing for the long run: Lessons in competitive advantage from great family businesses. Harvard Business Press.

Mursitama, T. N. (2006). Creating relational rents: The effect of business groups on affiliated firms’ performance in Indonesia. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23(4), 537-557.

OECD (2012), Board Member Nomination and Election, OECD Publishing,

Pananond, P. (2007). The changing dynamics of Thai multinationals after the Asian economic crisis. Journal of international management, 13(3), 356-375.

Park, C., & Kim, S. (2008). Corporate governance, regulatory changes, and corporate

restructuring in Korea, 1993–2004. Journal of World Business, 43(1), 66-84.

Park, Y. R., Lee, J. Y., & Hong, S. (2011a). Effects of international entry-order strategies on foreign subsidiary exit: The case of Korean chaebols. Management Decision, 49(9), 1471-1488.

Park, Y. R., Lee, J. Y., & Hong, S. (2011b). Location decision of Korean manufacturing FDI: A comparison between Korean chaebols and non-chaebols. Global Economic Review, 40(1), 123-138.

Pearson, A. W., Carr, J. C., & Shaw, J. C. (2008). Toward a theory of familiness: A social capital perspective. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32(6), 949-969.

Perkins, S., Morck, R., & Yeung, B. (2014). Innocents abroad: the hazards of international joint ventures with pyramidal group firms. Global Strategy Journal, 4(4), 310-330.

Pehrsson, T. (2015). Market entry mode and performance: capability alignment and institutional moderation. International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 15(4), 508–527.

Popli, M., & Sinha, A. K. (2014). Determinants of early movers in cross-border merger and acquisition wave in an emerging market: A study of Indian firms. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31(4), 1075-1099.

Pukall, T. J., & Calabrò, A. (2014). The internationalization of family firms: A critical review and integrative model. Family Business Review, 27(2), 103-125.

Rugman, A. M., & Oh, C. H. (2008). Korea's multinationals in a regional world. Journal of World Business, 43(1), 5-15.

Sahin, K. (2011). An investigation into why Turkish business groups resist the adoption of M-form in post-liberalization. African Journal of Business Management, 5(34), 3330-3343.

Sarkar, J. (2010). Business Groups in India. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 294-323). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sarkar, J., & Sarkar, S. (2008). Debt and corporate governance in emerging economies

Evidence from India. Economics of Transition, 16(2), 293-334.

Schulze, W. S., & Gedajlovic, E. R. (2010). Whither family business? Journal of

Management Studies, 47(2), 191-204.

Sharma, P. (2008). Commentary: Familiness: Capital Stocks and Flows Between Family and Business. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 32 (6), 971-977.

Short, J.C., Pramodita, S., Lumpkin G.T., & Pearson, W.A. (2016). Oh, the places we’ll go! Reviewing past, present, and future possibilities in Family Business Research. Family Business Review, 29 (1), 11-16.

Siegel, J. (2007). Contingent political capital and international alliances: Evidence from South Korea. Administrative Science Quarterly, 52(4), 621-666.

Singh, D. A. (2009). Export performance of emerging market firms. International Business Review, 18(4), 321-330.

Singh, D. A., & Gaur, A. S. (2013). Governance structure, innovation and

internationalization: evidence from India. Journal of International Management,19(3), 300-309.

Singla, C., & George, R. (2013). Internationalization and performance: A contextual analysis of Indian firms. Journal of Business Research, 66(12), 2500-2506.

Stoian, M.C., Rialp, A. and Rialp, J. (2011). Export performance under the microscope: a glance through Spanish lenses. International Business Review, 20(2), 117–135.

Stucchi, T., Pedersen, T., & Kumar, V. (2015). The Effect of Institutional Evolution on Indian Firms' Internationalization: Disentangling Inward-and Outward-Oriented Effects. Long Range Planning, 48(5), 346-359.

Tan, D., & Meyer, K. E. (2010). Business groups' outward FDI: A managerial resources perspective. Journal of International Management, 16(2), 154-164.

United Nations Conferences on Trade and Development (2015). World Investment Report 2015: Reforming International Investment Governance. UN.

Ward, J.L. (2004). Perpetuating the family business: 50 lessons learned from long-lasting successful families in business. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Wailerdsak, N. (2008). Women Executives in Thai Family Business. In V. Gupta, N. Levenburg, M. Lynda, M. Jaideep, & S. Thomas (Eds), Culturally Sensitive Models of Gender in Family Business (pp. 19-39). Hyderabad: ICFAI University Press.

Wailerdsak, N. & Suehiro, A. (2010). Business Groups in Thailand. In A.M. Colpan, T. Hikino, & J.R. Lincoln (Eds), The Oxford Handbook of Business Groups (pp. 237-265). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Welch, L.S., & Luostarinen, R. (1988). Internationalization: Evolution of a concept. Journal of General Management, 14(2), 34-55.

Wheeler, C., Ibeh, K., & Dimitratos, P. (2008). UK export performance research: review and implications. International Small Business Journal, 26(2), 207-239.

Winters, M. S. (2007). Market Access or Efficient Production: Why Did South Korean Outward Direct Investment Persist After the Crisis? Asian Business & Management, 6(3), 265-284.

Yamak, S., Ertuna, B., Levent, H., & Bolak, M. (2015). Collaboration of foreign investors with local family business groups in Turkey: implications on firm performance.European Journal of International Management, 9(2), 263-281.

Young, Peng, Ahlstom & Bruton, 2008. Corporate Governance in Emerging Economies: A Review of the Principal–Principal Perspective. Journal of Management Studies, 45(1), 196-220.

Yildirim-Öktem, Ö., & Üsdiken, B. (2010). Contingencies versus external pressure: professionalization in boards of firms affiliated to family business groups in late-industrializing countries. British Journal of Management, 21(1), 115-130


family business, family business groups, internationalization, content analysis, literature review, emerging economies

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Servicio de Publicaciones y Divulgación
Vicerrectorado de Investigación y Transparencia
Universidad de Málaga
Bulevar Louis Pasteur, 30.
Campus de Teatinos.
CP: 29010. Malaga.

Atención al público:
Lunes a viernes de 9:00 a 14:00 horas.