Internationalisation of traditional family businesses: an absorptive capacity approach

Massa, N., Jones, M. and Morgan-Thomas, A. (2014) Internationalisation of traditional family businesses: an absorptive capacity approach. In: ICSB 2014, Dublin, 11-14 Jun 2014,

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


This study examines the internationalisation of traditional sector Maltese small and medium-sized family businesses (SMFBs) engaged through an absorptive capacity lens. We argue that our current explanations of internationalisation as entrepreneurial, dynamic and risk-taking behaviour does not adequately explain the involvement of SMFBs in global business. To this end, we extend the conceptual frame of absorptive capacity to SMFBs internationalization to examine the acquisition, assimilation and exploitation of internationalisation knowledge. Mapping of the concept to a non-high tech context answers calls for broader operationalisation of ACAP beyond those pertaining to formalised knowledge and scientifically-related activity (Cohen and Levinthal 1989, 1990; Lane and Lubatkin 1998; Van den Bosch, Volberda and deBoer 1999; Easterby-Smith et al 2008). By focusing on SMFBs, the study also addresses an important gap in SMFB internationalization (Casillas and Acedo 2005; Fernandez and Nieto 2005, 2006; Casillas et al 2007; Kontinen and Oija 2010b).

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Morgan-Thomas, Professor Anna and Jones, Professor Marian
Authors: Massa, N., Jones, M., and Morgan-Thomas, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record