Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Graduate School of Management and Economics, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran



Family businesses and their internationalization have attracted increasing attention. Over the years, scholars have attempted to shed light on different characteristics of family firms that support their successful internationalization. In this research, we focus on familiness and investigate how familiness plays a role in the process of internationalization. Familiness refers to competencies and capabilities that are created in family firms because of the interaction between family and business. To answer this question, we have employed a qualitative research method and semi-structured interviews to collect data from seven family businesses from an emerging economy that were operating internationally. Built upon the social capital theory, our findings shed light on how the nature of family relationships in terms of different aspects of cognitive, relational, and structural dimensions facilitate the internationalization of family firms.