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Coping with uncertainty in the internationalisation strategy: An exploratory study on entrepreneurial firms

Giovanna Magnani (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy)
Antonella Zucchella (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 27 November 2018

Issue publication date: 15 January 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore uncertainty-coping strategic actions in the internationalisation strategy of entrepreneurial ventures, encompassing born globals/international new ventures, enduring established internationalisers, old born globals, born-again globals and micro-multinationals.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors developed a qualitative exploratory study applying a grounded theory approach to ten entrepreneurial firms to investigate the strategies they adopted to cope with Knightian uncertainty in international markets.

Findings

The global niche strategy emerged as a successful path to deal with uncertainty in smaller firms’ internationalisation. The authors uncover the components of this strategy, namely the creation of markets, the focus on global clients and the control of technology.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper consists in exploring how entrepreneurial firms cope with uncertainty through a global niche strategy and in outlining its main components. The authors develop a model of smaller entrepreneurial firms’ international strategising under this perspective. The research thus links together international marketing and strategy with (international) entrepreneurship studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the three IMR anonymous referees and the SI editors for their insightful comments and guidance.

Citation

Magnani, G. and Zucchella, A. (2019), "Coping with uncertainty in the internationalisation strategy: An exploratory study on entrepreneurial firms", International Marketing Review, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 131-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-02-2017-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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