Theses and Dissertations


Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Chrisman, James J.

Committee Member

McLarty, Benjamin D.

Committee Member

Sexton, Jennifer

Committee Member

Camors, Casey

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Business


Department of Management and Information Systems


A large number of firms around the world are family firms. Many of these family firms are involved in internationalization strategies. Despite the breadth of knowledge on the internationalization of large family firms, not enough attention has been paid to some of the aspects of internationalization. Specifically, the literature is scarce with respect to understanding the mechanisms that may help or harm family firms in their internationalization strategies and the impact of these strategies on firm performance. In my dissertation, I use property rights theory to argue that family firms are able to minimize their negotiating and policing costs, allowing them to benefit from internationalization, but not in all environments. I add to the literature by further finding that family firms internationalize more in environments that have lower levels of legal and political, physical, and intellectual property rights. Also, I find that family firms experience higher performance in environments that have lower levels of property rights protection. Therefore, this dissertation creates various avenues for future research, and provides more evidence toward the superiority of family firms in some, but not all environments.