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International entrepreneurship, born globals and the theory of effectuation

Svante Andersson (Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of a born global firm's early internationalization process and the entrepreneur's decisions regarding internationalization by using effectuation theory.


An explorative case study is used to explore whether effectuation theory is a fruitful alternative perspective compared with the dominant paradigm (causation), which is primarily used in earlier studies on born globals.


The study shows how a born global company could enter many markets in a short time, by co‐operating with local network partners. The founders' prior knowledge and networks were important to understand the rapid international expansion. Effectuation theory focuses on the entrepreneurs' ability to create opportunities together with network partners and is a useful tool to understand the development in the born global firm.

Research limitations/implications

The study shows that effectuation theory holds promise for developing the international entrepreneurship area. Future research is recommended to focus not only on the entrepreneur's competencies, but also on the entrepreneur's behavior, including during the time before they started the firm.

Practical implications

Decision‐makers in the early development of born global firms are recommended to use his/her own and his/her company's resources and network. Also advantage should be taken of opportunities when they are recognized or created, instead of focusing on traditional planning activities.


There are few studies that have used effectuation theory as a basis for understanding the early development of a born global firm.



Andersson, S. (2011), "International entrepreneurship, born globals and the theory of effectuation", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 627-643.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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