Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Spencer, Barbara

Committee Member

Kellermanns, Franz

Committee Member

Pearson, Allison

Committee Member

Chrisman, James

Committee Member

Moore, Robert

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Business


Department of Management and Information Systems


Family businesses, in the process of internationalization, beyond the consideration of the economic aspects of international expansion, may take into account non-economic factors and goals aimed at benefiting the family. These non-economic aspects are referred to as socioemotional wealth (SEW). The main question raised in this dissertation is: how does SEW impact the internationalization in family firms? The SEW construct has been considered in previous theoretical and empirical research but, to date, an instrument allowing direct measurement of this phenomenon has not be developed. Therefore, part of this dissertation is dedicated to the development of a measurement instrument allowing for the direct assessment of SEW in terms of its importance to the family firm decision-maker. The scale development procedure is described and the final version of the developed three-dimensional SEW Importance scale is presented. Further, this dissertation includes the development and statistical testing of the model of the impact of SEW on the extent of family firm internationalization, as well as the moderating effect of environmental munificence on the above relationship. This is followed by the discussion of the results, limitations of the study, its contributions and the implications for future research and family firm practice. The aim of this dissertation is to develop a valid and reliable instrument for measuring the importance of SEW in family firms, as well as to further the understanding of the impact that SEW may have on internationalization decisions in family enterprises.



Family Business||Socioemotional Wealth||Internationalization||Environmental Munificence