The purpose of this paper is to provide new insight concerning a relatively understudied phenomenon in the medium sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation and international entrepreneurship literature; the internationalisation of firms crossing the border to only one adjacent foreign country. These firms are called border firms. This study explores the variety of internationalisation patterns of border firms.
The study is based on theoretical perspectives related to speed of internationalisation and country embeddedness, and uses empirical data from seven Norwegian case companies operating across the border between Norway and Russia.
Three different internationalisation patterns of border firms are empirically identified and described; an early single-country path, a born-again border path and a born border path. Then, a model of the distinctive cross-border pathway is developed.
Several limitations of this study have implications for further research, such as sample size and setting, the new perspective on country embeddedness and questions related to generalisation of the findings.
The study has implications for both entrepreneurs and policy-makers. It demonstrates that internationalisation is not always about “going global” and is sometimes simply a matter of “hopping” across the nearest border. The model demonstrates different possible patterns for how to achieve or support this in practice.
This study contributes to theory-building in the field of SME internationalisation and international entrepreneurship in three ways. First, it identifies and defines an interesting but neglected type of international venture; border firms. Second, it explores the different start-up patterns of these firms, their speed and embeddedness. Third, it offers a theoretical framework of the distinct cross-border pathway of internationalisation.
The author would like to thank to Research Council of Norway for funding and Einar Rasmussen, Mai Camilla Munkejord, Evgueni Vinogradov, Lars Kolvereid, Paul Westhead and three anonymous reviewers for valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper.
J.B. Jørgensen, E. (2014), "Internationalisation patterns of border firms: speed and embeddedness perspectives", International Marketing Review, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 438-458. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-09-2012-0147Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited