Abstract

Family businesses grow slowly and export less, especially those at the medium level (Kotey, 2005). Even the number of family businesses itself has been found to decrease as sales increase whilst they are shown to be reluctant to go public (Gallo et al., 2004: 307). Building on previous studies which put emphasis on the power that the personalities of family business owners exert over their internationalization process (Gallo et al, 2004) or the gradual character of their approach to exporting (Harris et al, 1994), this exploratory paper shows that successful international trade is a reflection of alliances between structural representatives of opposite forces (such as growth and profit, process and transaction, strategy and overheads, export director and owner, and management and property) within the family business development process.

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