The purpose of this paper is to examine deinternationalisation through the lens of coevolutionary theory. The intention is to offer a fuller understanding of the processes and strategic challenges involved in this process and establish a path for future research in this area of internationalisation theory.
The paper draws links between emerging themes in organizational theory and internationalisation to aid the conceptual development and understanding of the process of deinternationalisation.
The exploration of links between organizational theory and internationalisation allows for the process of deinternationalisation to be more fully distinguished. The paper identifies processes of managed selection and retardation that will inform this process of organizational change.
Whilst there are concerns over the applicability of concepts from natural sciences within the social sciences, the paper does offer a number of research propositions to guide future academic investigation within the field of deinternationalisation.
By linking research on coevolution to the study of internationalisation, the paper contributes to the understanding of the emergence of differing paths and trajectories involved in the process of international contraction and expansion. Furthermore, coevolutionary theory allows the process of deinternationalisation to be conceptualized as a means of generating and guiding future study on this under‐explored area of internationalization research.
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