How do immigrant family businesses achieve global expansion? An embeddedness perspective

Meena Chavan, Francesco Chirico, Lucy Taksa, Muhammad Aftab Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extant literature on immigrant family businesses (IFBs) refers to the vital role of embeddedness in their success. Yet, little is known about how embeddedness evolves from family to global and how it helps IFBs to establish themselves in a host country, survive the related challenges, and thrive in the international market. By drawing on the lived experience of 25 highly successful family business entrepreneurs in Australia, we develop an integrated process model and discover a four-phase chronology of IFBs’ success toward global expansion: arriving, establishing, expanding, and thriving. Further, this model links these transitory phases to the IFBs’ embeddedness that evolves from family to local, host-country, and global. Our findings suggest that while the strength of family embeddedness is critical over time, its scope is limited as the IFBs form new, more extensive networks toward the global market. IFBs act as boundary spanners, blending local and international resources to create value. The theoretical and practical implications of our findings are shared in the concluding section.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Discoveries
Early online date4 Feb 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Feb 2022


  • Immigrant family business
  • embeddedness
  • process model
  • global strategy


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