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Internationalisation of firms in the digital economy. Analysis of tenants of Polish technology parks

Mateusz Błaszczyk (Institute of Sociology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland)
Karolina Maria Olszewska (Institute of Economic Sciences, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland)
Marek Wróblewski (Institute of International Studies, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 3 February 2023

Issue publication date: 13 February 2023

360

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the relationship between the digital economy and the model of internationalisation followed by companies resident in technology parks – institutions designed within the framework of regional and national innovation systems – to promote the country’s digital development. The authors selected Poland as the case study. It is one of the biggest European Union members that joined the EU after 2004. In the second decade of the 21st century, the Polish Government has oriented its economic strategy towards building a competitive digital economy. One of its fundamentals is to support the internationalisation of innovative firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis interrogates the forms and determinants of internationalisation undertaken by tenants of technology parks. The study sample consisted of 300 of the total 1,584 enterprises resident at the 36 technology parks in Poland and was a stratified random sample, with particular strata classified by location at a specific park. The research applied an interview questionnaire designed to cover such issues as innovativeness, research and development, public aid and the support offered by technology parks.

Findings

The results show that around half of the investigated enterprises undertake international activities. The key factors determining the chances of a firm’s internationalisation in the digital economy are whether it conducts research and development projects and receives public aid support. Many tenants of technology parks in Poland enter foreign markets at an early stage of their development, using diverse forms of foreign expansion. The findings also show that the internationalisation of tenants of Polish technology parks usually occurs in six relatively independent modes (types).

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of the internationalisation patterns of firms facing digital development challenges. Technology parks have a crucial role in building a digital economy, facilitating a technological “leapfrog”. The final recommendations can guide the technology parks’ managers to adopt more relevant support services for the internationalisation of their tenants. It is a critical point for small- and mid-size young innovative enterprises.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research was financed and supported by Narodowe Centrum Nauki (2013/11/B/HS5/03491).

Citation

Błaszczyk, M., Olszewska, K.M. and Wróblewski, M. (2023), "Internationalisation of firms in the digital economy. Analysis of tenants of Polish technology parks", European Business Review, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 223-238. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-12-2021-0266

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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