The purpose of this paper is to explore factors leading to the early internationalization of international new ventures (INVs) in Lithuania – a transition economy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The determinants of early internationalization were grouped into three categories: entrepreneurial, firm-related and contextual determinants, and their impact on high-tech INVs that operate in emerging economies was investigated.
The research design is a case study approach. Case studies are presented of six Lithuanian entrepreneurial firms that demonstrated successful internationalization and rapidly expanded into foreign markets during the preceding year.
Region-specific theoretical propositions are provided for new ventures in CEE emerging economies. The results reveal that essential factors leading to the early internationalization of INVs operating in Lithuania, a transition economy, are entrepreneurial factors. Internationalization of INVs from CEE emerging economies is driven by push factors related to domestic market specifics; however, institutional factors do not seem to have a significant impact on INVs’ internationalization.
The results of the analysis of the case studies are not generalizable to the entire population of INVs in Lithuania. However, the results are substantial considering the success of high-tech Lithuanian firms that started their international activities shortly after their inception. Future research can contribute to the literature by seeking to apply international new venture theory in the context of emerging economies with larger samples and a focus on distinct patterns of internationalization.
The findings contribute to the literature on international entrepreneurship by exploring early internationalization of INVs in the context of transition economies in CEE. This study’s contribution is based on theory building, especially in understanding the driving factors related to the early internationalization of new ventures founded by Lithuanian entrepreneurs. International entrepreneurship studies in the CEE, as well as Baltic countries, are limited, and this research contributes to filling this gap.
Sekliuckiene, J. (2017), "Factors leading to early internationalization in emerging Central and Eastern European economies: Empirical evidence from new ventures in Lithuania", European Business Review, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 219-242. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-12-2015-0158Download as .RIS
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