The influence of ownership structure on internationalization

Michael-Jörg Oesterle, Hannah Noriko Richta, Jan Hendrik Fisch

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Common reasons mentioned for a firm's internationalization are related to advantages for the firm. However, if firms are conceptualized as political coalitions, this view does not seem to be sufficient to explain why and to what extent firms internationalize. A principal-agent theoretical approach focusing the ownership-stake-related motivations and bargaining power of owners plus the range of actions managers can employ in different ownership situations offers an alternative explanation. We consequently studied the influences of ownership structure – defined as the concentration of ownership – on a firm's degree of internationalization and the main regions of international diversification. Overall, we conclude that the relationship is non-linear. To test our hypotheses, we utilize panel data for the 102 largest German manufacturing firms from 1990 to 2006. The analysis confirms our assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187 - 201
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502052 Business administration
  • 502003 Foreign trade
  • 502014 Innovation research

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