The purpose of this paper is to explore the mode of entry decisions of firms owned by individuals from a developing country, Thailand, when establishing business operations into a lesser developed country, Cambodia.
The study uses a case study method, using interviews which were held with owners, managers and employees of eight Thai‐owned companies operating in Cambodia.
The paper funds that existing internationalization theory and mode of entry frameworks were useful for classifying the two largest firms in the study, however the smaller entrepreneurial firms could not be accurately categorized according to the existing classifications and therefore an additional category, the born foreign firm, was identified.
As small enterprises are responsible for the vast majority of business activities in lesser developed economies, understanding the nature of born foreign firms can provide policy makers and educators with information to build policies and educational program upon.
The phenomenon of the born foreign firm was identified and explored.
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