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Social-cognitive antecedents of new venture internationalization: The role of entrepreneur intention, self-efficacy, and positive orientation

Aleksandra Wasowska (Department of Management, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 10 April 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the social-cognitive antecedents of an entrepreneur’s internationalization intent and a firm’s behavior. Building on the insights of social-cognitive psychology, the author develops a conceptual model linking an entrepreneur’s positive orientation, self-efficacy beliefs, internationalization intent and actual behavior of the firm.


The author tests this model with a sample of 310 Polish firms (including 241 domestic and 69 international new ventures), drawing on data collected first in 2006 and then in 2007.


The author finds that self-efficacy mediates between positive orientation and internationalization intent, and that an entrepreneur’s internationalization intent predicts a firm’s behavior (i.e. foreign market entry). Moreover, firm age moderates the relationship between an entrepreneur’s positive orientation and internationalization propensity among new ventures.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, the findings demonstrate that social-cognitive theory is useful in predicting new venture internationalization.

Practical implications

Based on the findings, the author recommends that managerial education in international management combines the development of “formal” skills and cross-cultural competencies with experiential and vicarious learning.


The study combines insights from psychology and international business, thus responding to numerous calls for a more interdisciplinary and cognition-oriented focus on the international behavior of firms.



Wasowska, A. (2019), "Social-cognitive antecedents of new venture internationalization: The role of entrepreneur intention, self-efficacy, and positive orientation", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 462-479.



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