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Limits of internationalization theories in an unlimited world

Catherine N. Axinn (Ohio University, College of Business, Athens, Ohio)
Paul Matthyssens (Erasmus University, The Netherlands and Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Universitair Campus, Belgium)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 1 October 2002


This paper proffers the viewpoint that existing theory in internationalization is insufficient to explain the currently observed behaviors of firms in the international business marketplace. It examines the impact of the global economy, the service economy, the new economy, the high technology and connected knowledge/network economy, and the value economy on the changing shape of international business behavior. Drawbacks to traditional theories are explored in terms of the speed of internationalization, the limits of psychic distance, the range of entry modes accommodated, the unit of analysis used, the absence of portfolio logic, experiential learning, manufacturing focus, undervaluing managers and incorporating customer value, while encouraging theorists to both adapt current models and develop new ones.



Axinn, C.N. and Matthyssens, P. (2002), "Limits of internationalization theories in an unlimited world", International Marketing Review, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 436-449.




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