SMEs/Family Businesses and Regional Context

SME/ family firms represent the most predominant forms of business organization across regions in developed and emerging economies (Basco et al. 2021). At the same time, these businesses represent geographically uneven phenomena with regard to their distribution across, their impact on, and their interactions with the local, regional, and (inter-) national levels and beyond (Basco and Suwala 2021, Ricotta and Basco 2021). Following the debate opened by Stough et al. (2015) and continued by Basco et al. (2021) to advance the cross-fertilization between (SMEs)/family business and regional studies/ economic geography, this call aims to move forward this debate by shading new light in a twofold and not mutually exclusive way. First, by unveiling under what conditions (SMEs)/ family and non-family firms are differently affected by the regional context where they are located (Capello 2011; Suwala 2021). The pervasive economic, social, and emotional connections with their home place (i.e., territorial embeddedness) may enable family firms to exploit some locational advantages (Cucculelli and Storai 2015; Amato et al. 2021) or to offset the downsides resulting from regional remoteness (Baù et al. 2019). Second, by exploring the (SMEs)/family firms’ influence on the regional context (Adjei et al. 2018), that is whether and to what extent the prevalence of family firms in spatially-bounded areas—such as regions and territories—fosters (Block and Spiegel 2013) or hinders (Cappelli et al. 2021) local and regional development.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to: