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Exploring the Role of Ownership in International Entrepreneurship: How does Ownership Affect Internationalisation of Polish Firms?



Objective: The article focuses on the role of ownership in the process of entrepreneurial internationalisation of the firm. The main objective of the article is to verify whether and how ownership impacts on the level of internationalisation.

Research Design & Methods: The study elaborates on three dimensions of ownership, which are ownership structure (foreign vs. domestic), family ownership and the characteristics of the owner (age, sex, global mindset and knowledge – the last two measured on a 5-point Likert scale). The sample of 190 internationalised Polish businesses were used in order to verify the assumed hypotheses.

Findings: The investigated firms operating in Poland of foreign ownership are more internationalised, measured by TNI, than those of domestic capital only. As a general rule, the investigated non-family firms are more internationalised than family firms as for the average TNI value. International attitude of the entrepreneur-owner affect the level of internationalisation: the higher values of attitude index, the higher values of TNI. Neither the age nor the sex of the entrepreneur affect the level of internationalisation.

Implications & Recommendations: it is obvious that knowledge is one of the key factors affecting the internationalisation, especially market choices, entry modes as well as the speed of internationalisation. Although much has been done in this field, but it still needs further and deeper investigations.

Contribution & Value Added: The current study and its findings indicate that ownership is one of key aspects relevant for explaining the internationalisation of firms, but its impact on firms’ international behaviour is somewhat equivocal.


international entrepreneurship, international business, ownership, family firms


Supplementary File(s)


Author Biography

Krzysztof Wach

full professor at Cracow University of Economics (Poland), full professor at the University of Social Sciences in Łódź (Poland). Professor of social sciences (2020), Habilitation (dr hab.) in economics (2013), PhD in management (2006), MSc in international economics (2001). His research interests include international business, international entrepreneurship, EU studies, entrepreneurship and innovation, family firms. Member of AIB (Academy of International Business) and EIBA (European International Business Academy). Editor-in-Chief of ‘Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review’ (Scopus, ESCI WoS). Associate Editor of various journals incl. ‘European Journal of International Management’ (SCI WoS), ‘Central European Management Journal’ (Scopus, ESCI WoS), ‘Agris on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics’ (Scopus) or ‘European Integration Studies’ (ESCI WoS). Member of the Committee for Economic Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences (since 2020). Served as expert on entrepreneurship for the European Commission and OECD (2012-2019)


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