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Vol. 3, No. 1

International Business Research

Family Businesses’ Views on Internationalization:
Do They Differ by Generation?
Sam C. Okoroafo (corresponding author)
College of Business Administration
The University of Toledo
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390 USA
Tel: 419-530-4398

E-mail: Sam.Okoroafo@UToledo.edu
Anthony C. Koh

College of Business Administration
The University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft Street
Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390, USA
Tel: 419-530-2287

E-mail: Anthony.koh@utoledo.edu

This study was funded by the Center for Family Business at the University of Toledo, Ohio USA.
The purpose of this exploratory study is to compare the views on internationalization (i.e., global business attitudes) of
family businesses run by ‘first’, ‘second’ and ‘third’generation owners. It is common to investigate/ ascertain different
generational perspectives and its impact on strategy and performance. This research compares differences in
internationalization views of multi-generational owners. It is hoped that conclusions can be derived as to the impact of
succeeding generational owners on internationalization. A mail survey of US family business owners based in Ohio was
conducted. The results revealed remarkable consistency and similarity in views pertaining to internationalization by the
first, second, and third generation owners. Family business owners irrespective of their generation do not monitor
foreign markets, desire relations with foreign family owned businesses, etc. They also felt their businesses were not
affected by foreign competitors.
Keywords: Internationalization, Family business, Views, Generations
1. Introduction
Internationalization is the “process by which firms both increase their awareness of the direct and indirect influence of
international transactions on their future, and establish and conduct transactions with firms in other countries” (Beamish
1990, p.77). For family businesses, their views on...

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