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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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ISSN Number: 2009-2822. Frequency: 4 Issues per year (online only)  

Article #1520 - Family Business Internationalization in the New Millennium: Achievements and Avenues for Future Research?

IRE Vol 13: Issue 4, 2015 , Pages 291-324

Author(s): Yordanka V. Ivanova (University of National and World Economy UNWE, Bulgaria and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium), Nikolay A. Dentchev (Vrije Universiteit, Brussel and KU Leuven, Belgium) and Kiril A. Todorov (UNWE, Sofia, Bulgaria)

This paper focuses on a comprehensive systematic review of international peer-reviewed journal articles in the field of family business internationalization for a period of 15 years. A total number of 103 articles were reviewed, published in 40 international journals, among which are Family Business Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of International Business Studies, and etc. Our review indicates some important features of the evolution of the family business internationalization literature. First, studies become more interdisciplinary and they are dispersed in a wide range of journals. Second, internationalization of family small and medium-sized enterprises was arguably underexplored in the past, and yet studies on this topic experience a rapid growth in the new millennium (the peak is observed mostly in the last few years). Third, theories that are frequently used in the reviewed articles include international entrepreneurship; stage theory of internationalization; resources and capabilities; stewardship theory; agency theory, and etc. Fourth, reviewed articles, based on contradictory findings contribute to an on-going lively debate. In general, non-family enterprises outperform family enterprises and factors as family involvement in ownership and management are found to be rather restrictive than enabling internationalization. Yet, other factors such as external involvement in ownership and management are positively related to internationalization of family small and medium-sized enterprises.

Keywords: internationalization, family business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), international entrepreneurship, ownership, management, governance, export, integrative systematic review

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