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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2019

Giovanna Magnani and Antonella Zucchella

The purpose of this paper is to explore uncertainty-coping strategic actions in the internationalisation strategy of entrepreneurial ventures, encompassing born…

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.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Rana Zayadin, Antonella Zucchella, Nisreen Ameen and Craig Duckworth

The purpose of this study is to capture the variation in entrepreneurs' understandings and experiences through which they contextualise cultural factors within a national…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to capture the variation in entrepreneurs' understandings and experiences through which they contextualise cultural factors within a national setting to articulate how they use their knowledge and social capabilities to advance their activity.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts an interpretivist approach through which culture is investigated at the individual level. Phenomenography is used as a methodology to capture the variation in the entrepreneurs own understanding and experiences of the cultural factors.

Findings

The findings introduce four different understandings and eight experiences to explore how entrepreneurs contextualise culture in their environment. The findings present a change in the role of culture in influencing entrepreneurial social capabilities and confidence; and a change in the local culture from collectivism to individualism. Furthermore, the findings show how entrepreneurs use their knowledge, experience and understanding to achieve socially driven acts to pursue economic value, integration and acceptance.

Research limitations/implications

We encourage further research in the Middle-East region to examine the model and identify other factors that affect entrepreneurial behaviour, including the important developments with regard to women entrepreneurs. While Jordan has embarked on introducing policy level changes to support entrepreneurship, the findings report that the culture of collectivism is changing. This requires a longitudinal research to capture the change and its implication on entrepreneurial activity in Jordan and its impact on unemployment and economic value.

Practical implications

In terms of practical contribution, the study introduces a policy level contribution by answering the question presented by the GEM report (2014) pointing out the high entrepreneurial opportunity identification in Jordan, yet the country has the lowest entrepreneurial activity in the region. Although the report pointed out issues in policy and institutional support the role of culture was not addressed. The study recommendation is to celebrate and entrepreneurial activity and introduce entrepreneurial studies at schools to influence a positive change.

Social implications

We addressed some of the several calls to further investigate and understand the role of culture, how entrepreneurs contextualise it (Foss and Klein, 2012; Garud et al., 2016; Zahra et al., 2014; Welter et al., 2019). Our research provides a fertile ground for further enquiries that pose questions such as “What other factors do entrepreneurs contextualise in their environment?” and “how these factors are contextualised?” The use of phenomenography as an interpretive methodology might therefore assist in revealing further shared understandings of the variation in entrepreneurs' behaviours. Further research on capturing “understanding” presents the complex forms of interactions and mechanism in the cognitive world of the entrepreneurs (Barandiaran et al., 2009; Brannback and Carsrud, 2016).

Originality/value

In this study, phenomenography has enabled new insights into the multiplicity and idiosyncratic role of culture within a national setting and introduces a model of social capability and integration which capture the contextualisation of cultural factors. The study contributes to entrepreneurship literature as follows: first, the implicit assumption in this research is that culture is an active construct that entrepreneurs understand, experience and also influence; second, the variation in entrepreneurs' outcomes is based on their subjective and personal understandings which form the ways of contextualisation. Third, the variation in understanding and experiences captures the different ways entrepreneurs use their social capabilities to achieve integration and economic value.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Birgit Hagen, Antonella Zucchella and Pervez Nasim Ghauri

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize strategic agility in entrepreneurial internationalization and highlight the role of marketing “under particular conditions” …

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize strategic agility in entrepreneurial internationalization and highlight the role of marketing “under particular conditions” – those of early and fast internationalizers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on in-depth case studies of four entrepreneurial internationalizers using an inductive approach. The role of marketing is studied along a set of four key business processes, i.e. sensing through selective customer/partner intimacy; business development through selective experimentation and testing; coordination and harmonization of multiple stakeholders; and creative extension of resources.

Findings

Strategic agility is a composite of flexibility and selective responsiveness. Marketing thought, mainly through customer and partner interaction, plays a prominent role in achieving strategic agility. Customer- and market-centric thinking needs to be built in a key set of business processes. Marketing’s contribution to strategic agility means an ability to cope with time, relationship and functional dependencies. Strategic agility helps improve the risk profile of the entrepreneurial internationalizer. Entrepreneurial internationalizers are particularly suited to compete on and benefit from strategic agility.

Practical implications

The findings show managers and entrepreneurs in early and fast internationalizing ventures a path to strategic agility which helps to overcome the many parallel challenges that come with firm foundation and internationalization.

Originality/value

Strategic agility is a novel explanation for entrepreneurial internationalization. The study explains the prominent role played by marketing in achieving strategic agility and growth. Strategic agility is reconceptualized in the context of the young and small internationalizing firm.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Roger Strange and Antonella Zucchella

This paper aims to provide an assessment of how the widespread adoption of new digital technologies (i.e. the Internet of things, big data and analytics, robotic systems…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an assessment of how the widespread adoption of new digital technologies (i.e. the Internet of things, big data and analytics, robotic systems and additive manufacturing) might affect the location and organisation of activities within global value chains (GVCs).

Design/methodology/approach

The approach in this paper is to review various sources about the potential adoption and impact of the new digital technologies (commonly known collectively as Industry 4.0), to contrast these technologies with existing technologies, and to consider how the new technologies might lead to new configurations involving suppliers, firms and customers.

Findings

The authors report that the new digital technologies have considerable potential to disrupt how and where activities are located and organised within GVCs), and who captures the value-added within those chains. They also report that Industry 4.0 is still in its infancy, but that its effects are already having an impact upon the nature of competition and corporate strategies in many industries.

Social/implications

In particular, the authors draw attention to the potential cyber-risks and implications for the privacy of individuals, and hence, the need for regulation.

Originality/value

This is the first published paper to consider the likely separate and joint impacts of the new digital technologies on the practice and theory of international business.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Elisa Conz, Stefano Denicolai and Antonella Zucchella

The purpose of this paper, according to the evolutionary perspective of resilience, is to provide a revised adaptive cycle model that explains how organisations that are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, according to the evolutionary perspective of resilience, is to provide a revised adaptive cycle model that explains how organisations that are embedded in a local system can foster their resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory case study analysis was carried out. The study adopted the methods and principles proposed by Eisenhardt (1989). Case studies were selected according the match-pair method and consist of two Italian wineries operating into the same wine cluster. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed through descriptive statistics and qualitative data analysis techniques.

Findings

The study proposes a revised model for the resilience strategies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which combines firm and cluster level. Findings show that the resilience of SMEs is primarily driven by internal resilience strategies, and their surviving and adapting capacity, from a certain point of the evolutionary cycle, is fostered by internal decisions rather than by the influence of the external environment.

Research limitations/implications

The study has some limitations. In particular, the exploratory survey does not permit the generalisation of results, and further empirical evidence is required. This research represents an initial step toward the development of a more exhaustive understanding of how the relationship SMEs-cluster can positively or negatively affect the resilience of organisations.

Practical implications

The proposed model for the resilience strategies of SMEs offers also insights for managers and entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

This study significantly contributes to theory on resilience in the management field, that is largely related to economic geography, while investigations about the resilience at the firm level are limited and inconclusive.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Birgit Hagen and Antonella Zucchella

Reaching customers globally and building a global brand and market presence is a demanding task for any firm. For early and rapidly internationalising small firms this is…

Abstract

Reaching customers globally and building a global brand and market presence is a demanding task for any firm. For early and rapidly internationalising small firms this is exceptionally challenging due to the restraints that ensue from the liabilities of smallness, newness and foreignness and the speed of their internationalisation. We argue that entrepreneurial marketing is a driver of entrepreneurial internationalisation and one of the – neglected – explanations for superior international performance. The authors conceptualise entrepreneurial marketing along four core (marketing) abilities which fit particularly well the international new firm and show how these positively impact on early and accelerated internationalisation and alter the risk profile of the venture in general.

Details

Key Success Factors of SME Internationalisation: A Cross-Country Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-277-8

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2006

Antonella Zucchella and Giada Palamara

Small firms can approach foreign markets notwithstanding their limited resources by adopting a niche strategy. This permits to understand how SMEs can reach high levels of…

Abstract

Small firms can approach foreign markets notwithstanding their limited resources by adopting a niche strategy. This permits to understand how SMEs can reach high levels of export intensity and broad geographic scope. Moreover, a global niche approach permits to explain – among other factors – why and how infant firms can be international or even global since their inception. The case studies analysis shows a positive relation between niche strategy and high international performance, in terms of export intensity, precocity, speed, and scope. The international expansion of niche firms is based on an horizontal micro-segmentation of the global market: they move internationally following global customers, independently from the psychic/geographical distance, and compete mostly on a non-price basis.

Details

International Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-369-3

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2013

Alfredo D'Angelo, Antonio Majocchi, Antonella Zucchella and Trevor Buck

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of two distinct geographic pathways to internationalization for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the determinants of two distinct geographic pathways to internationalization for small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). Regional and global pathways are juxtaposed to study the influence on export performance of selected key intangible resources, namely, innovation, human resource management, networking and the firm's experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Building upon a resource‐based view of the firm, Tobit regression models are used to test the hypotheses on a sample of 2,657 Italian manufacturing firms.

Findings

The paper provides empirical evidence that the determinants of SME export performance vary in line with the geographic scope of internationalization. While product innovation (innovation) positively impacts on SME export performance, irrespective of export destination, other factors do so selectively. For example, location in industrial districts (networking) and the deployment of external managers (human resource management) exclusively exert their positive impact respectively on regional and global export performance. The firm's age (experience) does not seem to guarantee success on regional or global export markets.

Practical implications

Investing in product innovation and hiring specialist non‐family executives are associated with success on global export markets. Industry clustering provides the resources that are useful for internationalization up to a point (export growth in regional markets), but it is not effective in the case of expansion on distant international markets.

Originality/value

Exporting beyond the regional market exposes firms to the liability of foreignness to a greater degree, thus requiring more dedicated and specialized resources and competences. This paper supports the hypothesis that export drivers differ between regional and global markets and calls for a definition of export performance that distinguishes between them.

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Antonella Zucchella and Serena Malvestito

This contribution discusses how multinational firms could serve poorer consumers in developed regions like Europe and through which business models, beyond the traditional…

Abstract

This contribution discusses how multinational firms could serve poorer consumers in developed regions like Europe and through which business models, beyond the traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions. MNEs have still limited capacity to address poverty in developed countries, notwithstanding some experience they have matured in developing markets and the striking figures of rising poverty in Europe and the United States. This research focuses on a specific issue: the role of MNEs in addressing poverty in developed markets, either leveraging on their previous expertise gained in developing countries or designing novel ad hoc solutions. The capacity of Western multinationals to tackle effectively the challenge of profitably doing business at the base of the pyramid (BoP) represents a controversial issue in literature and an intriguing topic for international business studies. The empirical research is based on three case studies. The companies have already gained experience in targeting BoP markets in developing countries. They are analyzed in order to understand better their approaches and their applicability in Europe.

Details

International Business in a VUCA World: The Changing Role of States and Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-256-0

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Stefano Denicolai, Roger Strange and Antonella Zucchella

To provide a theoretical explanation of why outsourcing relationships are inherently dynamic, in that the dependence of each party upon the other inevitably changes over…

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a theoretical explanation of why outsourcing relationships are inherently dynamic, in that the dependence of each party upon the other inevitably changes over time and thus so too will the power asymmetries between the parties.

Methodology/approach

Our approach is theoretical and draws upon insights from resource dependence theory, transaction cost economics, and the resource-based view of the firm, to focus on the power asymmetries between the focal firm undertaking the outsourcing and its suppliers. We illustrate our arguments using a longitudinal case study of the evolving relationship between Apple and the Foxconn Technology Group.

Practical implications

For supplier firms, the message is to upgrade, develop distinctive resources and capabilities, and diversify the customer base. Otherwise, suppliers will forever be condemned to low operating margins and the threat of being replaced by cheaper, more agile rivals. For focal firms, the message is not to rest on your laurels. The potency of isolating mechanisms may well dissipate, suppliers will no doubt strive to lessen their positions of dependence and competitors will inevitably emerge, with the result that once-profitable outsourcing arrangements may quickly erode.

Originality/value

We highlight the crucial role played by isolating mechanisms to underpin power asymmetries in outsourcing relationships, and thus enable focal firms to appropriate the rents from externalized value chain activities. We argue that the efficacy of many isolating mechanisms will tend to dissipate over time as competitors emerge to imitate successful strategies and products, and as resource and capability asymmetries erode.

Details

The Future Of Global Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-422-5

Keywords

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