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Internationalisation of firms from Central and Eastern Europe: A systematic literature review

Andrea Caputo (Lincoln Business School, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK)
Massimiliano Matteo Pellegrini (The Claude Littner Business School, University of West London, London, UK)
Marina Dabic (University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia and Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)
Leo Paul Dana (Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France and Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




The purpose of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature addressing internationalisation of firms from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).


This paper presents an inter-disciplinary systematic review of literature about the internationalisation of firms from CEE.


Three different clusters of research were identified. In the “Internationalisation Processes” cluster, containing many comparative studies, the focus is on specific approaches adopted by local firms in the process of internationalisation. One of the leitmotivs is the dichotomy between hostile home-country factors that create the need for internationalisation and market-seeking motives that guide the search for international expansion. The “Internationalisation Variables” cluster aims to explain the reasons of success or failure of internationalisation processes and strategies; this cluster focuses on possible facilitating or hindering aspects experienced by CEE firms and one often-cited element is the firm’s network. Finally, the “Internationalisation Outcomes” cluster assumes a reverse approach when compared to the other two clusters. Indeed, the internationalisation phenomenon can also be studied in terms of its effect on the firm; the elements sought in these types of studies are both potential benefits and risks associated with internationalisation in CEE countries. The latter category in particular gives rise to interesting questions for future research.


Given that large, developed economies tend to receive much academic interest and that smaller transitional economies are not always adequately represented in the scientific discussion, this paper contributes to the literature on internationalisation.



Caputo, A., Matteo Pellegrini, M., Dabic, M. and Paul Dana, L. (2016), "Internationalisation of firms from Central and Eastern Europe: A systematic literature review", European Business Review, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 630-651.



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