It is widely acknowledged that the internationalization of family firms differs from that of firms with different ownership and governance structures, and that there is a great variety of international behaviors within the universe of family firms. To better grasp the actual processes family firms face when they move towards international markets, the academic debate is increasingly encouraging qualitative studies in this field. Using a research project aimed at advancing understanding of the dynamics and processes behind family firms internationalizing into China and India as an example, this chapter intends to make a critical reflection on the adoption of the multiple case study method. Moreover, it aims at pointing out some key tenets and tips related to this inquiry approach as a guide for junior researchers approaching the topic of family firm internationalization.
Matteo Caroli, Claudia Pongelli and Alfredo Valentino
In the current era, with firms’ stakeholders continuously asking for corporate responsible practices and international investors that consider compliance and transparency as key criteria to evaluate a company, multinational enterprises (MNEs) often struggle to manage activities in host countries due to the phenomenon of corruption that, to different degrees, affects all countries and has been recently claimed as one of the biggest challenges of the twenty-first century. Although family firms are especially careful about the harmful effects of misconduct given that the owning family’s reputation is at stake along with that of the firm, the academic debate on how family-owned MNEs deal with transparency is still in its infancy, especially with respect to host countries. To shed light on this overlooked topic, the aim of this chapter is to explore whether and how the presence of an owning family influences the MNE’s transparency in host countries and, more precisely, how family-owned MNEs cope with the specific risk of corruption.