The increased international propensity of serial entrepreneurs demonstrating ambidextrous strategic agility

Yancy Vaillant (Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Toulouse Business School (TBS), Toulouse, France)
Esteban Lafuente (Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Barcelona Tech), Barcelona, Spain)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 8 April 2019



The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether business owners that simultaneously demonstrate past entrepreneurial experience and process agility have greater export propensity levels.


The proposed hypotheses are tested using binary choice models relating past entrepreneurial experience and reported process agility on a unique sample of 246 Catalan business owners for the year 2010.


Consistent with the theoretical arguments on the relevance of generative-based cognitive agility, the results of this paper reveal that serial entrepreneurs demonstrate a greater export propensity. Additionally, the authors found that serial entrepreneurs who also demonstrate process agility show superior export propensity levels, compared to the group of business owners outside this ambidextrous group (first-time business owners without process agility).

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study indicate that traits characterizing international marketing agility, decisional speed and accuracy are also linked with greater export propensity levels. The added export market expansion resulting from the opportunity responsiveness of serial entrepreneurs is found to be amplified by the accuracy of internal adaptation capabilities of process agility.

Practical implications

Therefore, the promotion of ambidextrous strategic agility coming from the complementarities between the benefits of entrepreneurial experience and adaptive process abilities is essential for increasing businesses’ internationalization.


The paper contributes to the literature by further exploring the influence of different sources of agility on the internationalization of entrepreneurial ventures and opens a link between entrepreneurs prone toward export market expansion and international marketing agility.



Vaillant, Y. and Lafuente, E. (2019), "The increased international propensity of serial entrepreneurs demonstrating ambidextrous strategic agility", International Marketing Review, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 239-259.

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