In this paper we investigate a sample of 122 Italian manufacturing small to medium-sized family firms, and analyse the effects of the degree of family involvement on their decisions to invest in psychically distant countries. Our findings indicate that higher family involvement tends to correspond to a lower number of foreign direct investments in psychically distant countries. Additionally, the firm’s age has a moderating effect on the relationship between family involvement and investments in psychically distant countries. When we analyse younger firms, family involvement turns out to be negatively associated with these investments, while this relationship is slightly positive when we consider older firms. These results allow us to move beyond family/non family owned comparative studies and provide a more nuanced view of family firm internationalization.
- Family business
- Psychic distance