The purpose of this paper is to review the terminology used by various constellations of researchers concerning the formation of organizations that are international from inception, present conceptual and definitional attributes of the phenomena of interest, and propose common terminology, and conceptual framework to use in the future.
A literature review is undertaken that compares research terminology used by different streams of research and different constellations of researchers referring to a new organization that intends be international from the beginning of its creation.
Two principal findings may be stressed: there are constellations of labels used to describe essentially the same phenomena of organizations that are international at their inception, and there are constellations of researchers that use their own unique labels in this field. Provocatively, the authors question whether these findings are due to “academic protectionism” between the constellations or “academic myopia” (i.e. inability to appreciate the literature's terminology between constellations). It is proposed that the terms used in this field of research should be collapsed into another recent concept introduced and defined in literature, namely “early internationalizing firms.”
A conceptual framework of “early internationalizing firms” is outlined. It suggests this concept is more beneficial and appropriate than the concepts using traditional terminology such as: “international new ventures” and “born globals.” It is argued that the “early internationalizing firms” concept is more descriptive of the actual phenomena and explicitly considers the crucial short timeframe involved in the process of internationalization of firms.
The label “early internationalizing firms” may be easier to communicate in practice than some of the current labels used in literature. It emphasizes the practical imperatives of simultaneous localization and globalization, and planning at several levels (i.e. operative, tactical, and strategic levels) in a short timeframe.
The paper suggests that “early internationalizing firms” is more descriptive of the phenomena of interest and should be used in the field. It contributes to the literature by presenting a broadened more useful framework in describing the phenomena of interest. In specific, it takes into account short timeframes and both the globalization and localization aspects of the phenomena.
Svensson, G. and Payan, J. (2009), "Organizations that are international from inception: Terminology and research constellations – “academic protectionism” or “academic myopia”?", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 406-417. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000910977134Download as .RIS
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