Corporate Strategy in Family Business Groups in Developed Economies

Xavier Mendoza, Paula M. Infantes, Maria José Parada, Marita Rautiainen, Jan Hohberger

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review


This study aims at mapping the corporate strategies of Family Business Groups (FBGs) in the context of developed economies. Particularly, we analyze (i) how FBGs are structured and the degree of control on their investee companies, and (ii) which are their diversification strategies -product and geographic diversification strategies. The research setting is based on a sample of 238 FBGs in Catalonia, a propitious ecosystem for the prevalence of family business -88% of all Catalan companies are family-owned. Moreover, the Catalan economy is larger than that of most countries in the Eurozone and, thus, studying the Catalan context is representative of developed economies. We use an exploratory descriptive approach to understand which corporate strategies develop Catalan FBGs. Catalan FBGs are mainly small -in terms of the number of investee companies- and semi-pyramidal -with up to three hierarchical levels. Two-thirds of these FBGs are internationalized and almost half of them can be considered as globalizing-multinationals. Regarding their product diversification, Catalan FBGs operate in more than four subsectors and, on average, their parent-investee dyads exhibit a high level of industrial distance. This exploratory study joins the scarce body of research analyzing FBGs from developed economies and contributes to the strategy literature by showing how FBGs, a specific type of organization, undertake their corporate strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Managing Family Business Groups
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages44
ISBN (Electronic)9783031132063
ISBN (Print)9783031132056
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Corporate strategy
  • Exploratory descriptive study
  • Family business groups
  • Product and geographic diversification
  • Structure


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