(We use survey data on 3,600 companies from 63 countries to test hypotheses about the internationalization of family firms (FFs) compared to non-family firms (NFFs). We find that FFs are less international than NFFs in the propensity, scale, and scope of their sales, manufacturing, services, and sourcing. However, when all or most of the family supports internationalization, FFs are significantly more international not just relative to FFs without such support but also relative to NFFs. We also find that both family governance and corporate governance are critical to garnering that support.
This unique empirical research explores single-family offices or similar firms in Chile as a case of study, where these companies have flourished in the last fifteen years. Through a survey of 81 offices, done with a very exhaustive sampling, we wanted to know the characteristics of the offices that manage the wealth of business families, the services they provide, and the kind of investments they make. By way of factor analysis, we found six components to explain the services the offices provide within the common literature dimensions: investment, family, and administrative services. Then, through a cluster analysis, we classified the sample -according to their main characteristics- into three groups of offices named family offices, investment firms, and holding companies. So, we could create three typologies to answer our research questions. The authors found that family offices or similar firms differ significantly because of size, but also because of the services they provide, the kind of investments they do, and the desire for continuity as a legacy.