How do Family Firms Grow? The Strategic Goals of Innovation and Internationalization

  •  Bice Della Piana    
  •  Alessandra Vecchi    
  •  Vittoria Marino    
  •  Mario D Arco    


The aim of the paper is to identify the main strategic goals that are deemed as strategic by the owner/managers for the future growth of a family firm, and to assess how innovation ad internationalisation are included in such goals. By relying on 15 in-depth interviews with family firms’ key informants (i.e. family firms’ owners, managers and professionals), the study makes an original contribution that is significant and relevant both from a theoretical and a methodological perspective. In relation to the former, it provides a comprehensive review of the main family business goal setting models in order to identify the relevant categories used to classify the goals. Additionally, differently from extant research the study outlines the pivotal importance of innovation and internationalization as strategic goals for family firms’ growth. In relation to the latter, by relying on a narrative approach, the study provides a finer-grained understanding of how internationalization and innovation are conceived with respect to traditional characteristics of the family firms.

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