Purpose This article investigates the relationship between family ownership and export performance in the context of SMEs while also considering the moderating role of the financial dimension and, in particular, financial constraints and financial flexibility. Design/methodology/approach We select a sample of 1,132 Italian SMEs to examine through an econometric analysis the role and impact of family ownership and the financial moderating variables being used on their export performance. Findings The results indicate that there is a U-shaped relationship between family ownership and export performance: the highest levels of export performance correspond to the lowest and highest family ownership levels, whereas when a mixture of family and nonfamily ownership exists, the performance suffers because of "conflicting voices" dominating strategic visions and approaches, harming the firm's export commitment. Moreover, the findings show that lower financial constraints and/or stronger financial flexibility improve the relationship between family ownership and export performance. Research limitations/implications Our findings show that the ownership structure is important for export performance; in particular, firms should avoid a mixture between family and nonfamily ownership because it is detrimental to export performance. Moreover, Italian SMEs need to develop sources of financing other than the banking channel, and policy makers should favour this process to overcome financial constraint problems and improve financial flexibility. Limitations concern the use of other econometric approaches and measurement variables to further investigate the connection between family ownership and export performance. Originality/value The present study enhances the comprehension of the complex relationship between family ownership and export performance by documenting the relevance of the level of family ownership and considering the moderating role of financial constraints and flexibility.

Family ownership and the export performance of SMEs: the moderating role of financial constraints and flexibility / Pascucci, Federica; Domenichelli, Oscar; Peruffo, Enzo; Luca Gregori, Gian. - In: JOURNAL OF SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT. - ISSN 1462-6004. - 29:4(2022), pp. 602-626. [10.1108/JSBED-03-2021-0113]

Family ownership and the export performance of SMEs: the moderating role of financial constraints and flexibility

Enzo Peruffo;
2022

Abstract

Purpose This article investigates the relationship between family ownership and export performance in the context of SMEs while also considering the moderating role of the financial dimension and, in particular, financial constraints and financial flexibility. Design/methodology/approach We select a sample of 1,132 Italian SMEs to examine through an econometric analysis the role and impact of family ownership and the financial moderating variables being used on their export performance. Findings The results indicate that there is a U-shaped relationship between family ownership and export performance: the highest levels of export performance correspond to the lowest and highest family ownership levels, whereas when a mixture of family and nonfamily ownership exists, the performance suffers because of "conflicting voices" dominating strategic visions and approaches, harming the firm's export commitment. Moreover, the findings show that lower financial constraints and/or stronger financial flexibility improve the relationship between family ownership and export performance. Research limitations/implications Our findings show that the ownership structure is important for export performance; in particular, firms should avoid a mixture between family and nonfamily ownership because it is detrimental to export performance. Moreover, Italian SMEs need to develop sources of financing other than the banking channel, and policy makers should favour this process to overcome financial constraint problems and improve financial flexibility. Limitations concern the use of other econometric approaches and measurement variables to further investigate the connection between family ownership and export performance. Originality/value The present study enhances the comprehension of the complex relationship between family ownership and export performance by documenting the relevance of the level of family ownership and considering the moderating role of financial constraints and flexibility.
Family ownership, SMEs, Export performance, Financial constraints, Financial flexibility
Family ownership and the export performance of SMEs: the moderating role of financial constraints and flexibility / Pascucci, Federica; Domenichelli, Oscar; Peruffo, Enzo; Luca Gregori, Gian. - In: JOURNAL OF SMALL BUSINESS AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT. - ISSN 1462-6004. - 29:4(2022), pp. 602-626. [10.1108/JSBED-03-2021-0113]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11385/224439
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