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Has research on the internationalization of firms from an IMP perspective resulted in a theory of internationalization?

Sabine Gebert Persson (Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden)
Lars-Gunnar Mattsson (Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)
Christina Öberg (School of Business, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 6 July 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Recently, increased interest has been devoted to discuss theory development in relation to business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explore these thoughts through describing and analyzing research on the internationalization of firms from an Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) perspective. The authors ask: to what extent have these studies resulted in a theory of internationalization?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual and frames research on the internationalization of firms by means of definitions, domains, relations of variables and predictions. It looks into research on internationalization based on an IMP-inspired network perspective to see to what extent research has resulted in theories of internationalization.

Findings

While there have been substantial efforts on theorizing related to IMP-based internationalization studies, the research has not yet resulted in theory.

Research limitations/implications

In this paper one phenomenon was selected that has already been addressed in IMP research, namely, the internationalization of firms. Had the authors chosen another phenomenon previously studied in IMP the findings might had turned out differently.

Originality/value

The paper makes a contribution to understanding how ideas are developed, used and referenced in long-term research development for the specific phenomenon of internationalization. The paper contributes to the debate on theories within B2B research.

Keywords

Citation

Gebert Persson, S., Mattsson, L.-G. and Öberg, C. (2015), "Has research on the internationalization of firms from an IMP perspective resulted in a theory of internationalization?", IMP Journal, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 208-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMP-04-2015-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited