Going global no longer optional for family businesses, KSU researchers say

With the economies of Europe and the U.S. stalling, going global is no longer optional for family…

Georgia (Aug 27, 2012)With the economies of Europe and the U.S. stalling, going global is no longer optional for family businesses, according to new research out of Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business.

Family-owned businesses in developed economies may want to look for growth opportunities in emerging economies such as India and China because domestic markets are not growing as fast, said the paper, to be presented Aug. 29 at the Academy of Marketing Science’s World Marketing Congress in Atlanta.

“While giant multinational enterprises may have distinct advantages, there is no reason to believe that family-owned businesses cannot compete in the global arena,” says Vijay Patel, the paper’s lead author. “Exporting and forging alliances in foreign countries may no longer be optional for small and midsize companies. Facing survival or demise creates urgency for family businesses to consider entering the global marketplace in a strategic manner.”

The study, published in the journal Business Horizons earlier this year, points out that while family businesses –– comprising small and medium businesses but also large corporations where a family has effective control over the strategic direction of the business –– are the pervasive form of business organization around the world, most of these are not involved in global markets. “Growth is a major strategic decision for all business enterprises, and global expansion is one available option for firms to consider,” Patel added.

The authors are Patel, who completed a Doctor of Business Administration degree at Kennesaw State in the spring; Torsten Pieper, assistant professor of management; and marketing professor Joe Hair.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu