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Intangible assets, international experience and the internationalisation speed of retailers

Alexander Mohr (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Georgios Batsakis (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Article publication date: 10 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to study draws on the resource- and knowledge based views (RBV/KBV) of the firm to explain the internationalisation speed of retail firms.


The authors use a panel data set of 144 international retailers over a ten-year period and employ feasible generalised least squares analysis in order to assess the effect of intangible assets and international experience on internationalisation speed.


The results support direct effects of intangible assets and international experience, while the latter effect is also moderated by firms’ home-region concentration.

Research limitations/implications

The study investigates the determinants of retailers’ internationalisation speed. While research stresses the positive performance effects of rapid internationalisation, future research should investigate the role of internationalisation speed for the performance of retailers empirically. The findings support the usefulness of adopting a RBV/KBV for explaining internationalisation speed.

Practical implications

The findings imply that firms need to have particular intangible resources before being able to internationalise rapidly. They also show that decision-makers need to be mindful of the effects of international experience in allowing them to expand overseas both within and outside their home region.


There has been very little research into the speed with which firms in general and service sector firms in particular expand their operations internationally. Through a theory-based analysis of a newly created panel data set this study provides novel insights into the factors that lead retail firms to internationalise rapidly.



Mohr, A. and Batsakis, G. (2014), "Intangible assets, international experience and the internationalisation speed of retailers", International Marketing Review, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 601-620.



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