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Waking the Lion – A Study on the Internationalisation of South African Family Firms.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Internationalisation theories and other aspects of this phenomenon have been investigated by researchers to a large extent with respect to MNCs, MNEs and SMEs. However not very much attention has been devoted to the study of the internationalisation of family firms and factors influencing this process. Specifically, in the current era of the third wave of internationalisation, where firms from emerging country markets are internationalising, there has not been sufficient research to investigate, how, when, and why family firms from an emerging country market such as South Africa internationalise. Family firms in South Africa contribute significantly to the economic developments of their nation. They form 80% of businesses within the country and 60% of the firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Therefore, research into the internationalisation of these family firms will not only be beneficial to the South African family businesses investigated, but it will also add valuable knowledge and insight to the internationalisation phenomenon with respect to the nation’s family firms.

This study sets out to fill this gap by examining and explaining the internationalisation of South African family firms, and identifying the possible lessons that could be learnt from the internationalised South African family firms by their not yet internationalised counterparts.

This research was conducted through a qualitative case study of six South African family firms, out of which three have internationalised and three are yet to internationalise. Face-to-face interviews conducted with the owners and managers, as well as secondary sources of data formed the base of the empirical data analysed. The interview questions were grouped under the concepts of family impact, decision-making, business networks and culture. These concepts were examined and their impact on internationalisation explained. The researchers conclude that chance played the most important role in the internationalisation of the firms. The chance to internationalise however, was made available to these firms through their business networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keywords [en]
Internationalisation, South Africam Family Firms, Decision-Making, Network, Culture, Chance, Transaction Cost Analysis, Resource-based view, Psychic Distance
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-45861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-45861DiVA, id: diva2:848399
External cooperation
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
International Business Strategy, Master Programme 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-24 Last updated: 2017-03-30Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • Other locale
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