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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2018

Charmaine Glavas, Shane Mathews and Rebekah Russell-Bennett

Technology has profoundly transformed the international business environment, particularly regarding the flow of information and the way in which knowledge is acquired and…

Abstract

Purpose

Technology has profoundly transformed the international business environment, particularly regarding the flow of information and the way in which knowledge is acquired and shared. Yet, the extent of this transformation is still underappreciated. The purpose of this paper is to examine how small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner/founders acquire and utilize knowledge for internationalization via internet-enabled platforms.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical analysis draws on multiple case study methodology to examine 13 Australian SME owner/founders and the knowledge they acquire from utilization of internet-enabled platforms.

Findings

The analysis reveals four differing types of internet-enabled experiences: “technical internet-enabled experiences,” “operational internet-enabled experiences,” “functional internet-enabled experiences,” and “immersive internet-enabled experiences.” The findings indicate that internet-enabled experiences can generate both explicit and tacit forms of knowledge for the pre, early and later phases of internationalization.

Practical implications

The findings provide a structured approach by allowing SMEs to “plot” themselves against the classification of internet-enabled experiences to denote their level of technological involvement, and for discerning the types of knowledge that can be acquired. The findings are particularly helpful for owner/founders, highlighting that internet-enabled platforms are affecting the ways in which knowledge can be acquired and applied to international businesses processes.

Originality/value

The findings extend the conventional notion of knowledge acquisition for international business by highlighting how information and knowledge can be acquired via internet-enabled platforms. The findings lay the necessary groundwork for building an evidence base and theoretically extending the concept of knowledge acquisition via internet-enabled platforms.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2009

Desirée Blankenburg Holm, Rian Drogendijk, Jukka Hohenthal, Ulf Holm, Martin Johanson and Ivo Zander

Purpose – We examine the fundamental assumptions and features of the Uppsala model of internationalization and argue that we need to look beyond this model for studying…

Abstract

Purpose – We examine the fundamental assumptions and features of the Uppsala model of internationalization and argue that we need to look beyond this model for studying internationalization processes in the multinational corporations (MNCs) of today. The purpose of our paper is to identify gaps and neglected issues regarding MNCs' internationalization processes that demand further theoretical and empirical study.

Methodology – Our approach is conceptual: based on the most cited model on internationalization, the Uppsala model, we approach the complex internationalization processes that continuously go on in modern MNCs. We use related bodies of literature, on MNC structure and strategy, headquarters–subsidiary relationships, MNC subsidiary strategy and development, and opportunity seeking and entrepreneurship, to fill in the gaps and develop the emerging research themes.

Findings – We identify the following three issues that need further investigation: the opportunity recognition process preceding internationalization processes in MNCs, the internationalization of multiple products within the confines of the growing MNC, and the internationalization of foreign MNC units.

Research limitations – In this paper, we open up new research fields, but do not offer empirical studies to inform us about these relevant issues. Future research should study these issues empirically, preferably through case study methodologies and/or with longitudinal designs.

Originality – The contribution of our paper is its identification of three research issues in relation to internationalization processes of modern MNCs, which we argue are neglected by contemporary research.

Details

Research on Knowledge, Innovation and Internationalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-956-1

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Katia M. Galdino, Sérgio Fernando Loureiro Rezende and Bruce T. Lamont

By bringing together the IB and IE literatures, the purpose of this paper is to examine the internationalization process as an entrepreneurial process related to the…

Abstract

Purpose

By bringing together the IB and IE literatures, the purpose of this paper is to examine the internationalization process as an entrepreneurial process related to the development of international opportunities. It explicitly connects different types of knowledge (i.e. market and internationalization), international opportunities and the internationalization process comprising both new foreign market entry and sequential moves that happen after entry.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that reviews the literature on knowledge, opportunities and the internationalization process. Moreover, the paper identifies the current gaps in the literature and builds new theory that sheds light into how these three concepts are related. The paper also presents a model and propositions that should guide future research.

Findings

The proposed model shows that market and internationalization knowledge combine to form the international knowledge stockpile of the firm, which moderates the relationship between the development of international opportunities and the internationalization process, comprising not only new foreign market entry but also sequential moves that happen after entry using either mode continuation or modal shift. Moreover, it shows that the development of opportunities only leads to modal shifts after a certain threshold is achieved.

Research limitations/implications

The propositions suggest that market and internationalization knowledge are positively related to international opportunities, which, in turn, are related to foreign market entry and sequential moves using mode continuation. International opportunities, however, are related to modal shifts only beyond a threshold. Moreover, the international knowledge stockpile of the firm moderates the relationship between international opportunities and the internationalization process. Because this is a conceptual paper, the propositions have not been tested and, therefore, lack empirical validation. Nonetheless, the model is a starting point to new research on internationalization distinguishing different types of knowledge as well as different sequential moves.

Originality/value

This study shows that the internationalization process is contingent on the different types of knowledge associated with it. It also introduces the idea of a threshold that shapes the internationalization process. The bulk of the research on internationalization suggests that such a process is gradual and incremental. This study offers a non-linear alternative.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Aihie Osarenkhoe

Is non‐sequential internationalization process solely technology enabled or a product of mutually interdependent forces? This paper aims to show that even though the…

Abstract

Purpose

Is non‐sequential internationalization process solely technology enabled or a product of mutually interdependent forces? This paper aims to show that even though the sequential approach in the process model is intuitively appealing, not all firms follow such a path. Hence, integrated framework to explain how the international market entry process has changed with respect to the sequential approach is presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The data banks of the Swedish Trade Council and the Chambers of Commerce are used to identify small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) with between 50 and 250 employees (in compliance with European Union's definition of SMEs). Data are collected through the use of questionnaires and in‐depth interviews from 60 Swedish SMEs operating in other countries and foreign SMEs operating in Sweden that tends not to develop in incremental stages with respect to their international.

Findings

Some of the findings are: that the sequential model is by no means reflective of, or appropriate for all firms' approaches to international business; the usefulness gained by using an international network approach to study the international activity of a firm; and the interplay between the identified driving forces behind a non‐sequential internationalization process.

Research limitations/implications

Even though market entry patterns of firms investigated demonstrate a non‐sequential internationalization process, they are still within the general theoretical framework where the basic assumption of the sequential internationalization model can maintain its validity. Firms are indeed exposed to irrecoverable transaction costs that hamper their behaviours and complicate export supply responses in international markets. However, the magnitude of the costs and speed of internationalization is dependent on the ability of the firms to take advantage of the enablers of non‐sequential internationalization pattern. This is particularly important for firms to and from developing countries and emerging markets and their propensities to succeed in their internationalization endeavours.

Originality/value

Knowledge acquired from the empirical study of firms that tend not to develop in incremental stages with respect to their international activities, and therefore start international activities by entering very distant markets and multiple countries right from birth without prior experience, is used to develop an integrated framework which aptly depicts that non‐sequential internationalization process is not solely enabled by technology, as commonly envisaged in literature, but a product of mutually interdependent forces. Consequently, this study provides a holistic view on the driving forces behind the rapid internationalization process encountered by many SMEs today.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Valerie A. Bell and Sarah Y. Cooper

Rarely have studies on the acquisition of knowledge in internationalisation focused on institutional knowledge. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to investigate the…

Abstract

Purpose

Rarely have studies on the acquisition of knowledge in internationalisation focused on institutional knowledge. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to investigate the acquisition of this knowledge, and its assimilation and exploitation processes in internationalisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises ten longitudinal revelatory case studies built from multiple semi-structured interviews conducted with three different firm types of small- and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in the pharmaceutical industry and secondary documents to which the researchers obtained proprietary access.

Findings

The study enhances the conceptual understanding of the institutional learning process in internationalisation by, for the first time, developing a framework to characterise this process. The study explores and identifies multiple types of institutional knowledge required, the sequencing of their acquisition, sources and learning methods utilised. It also discusses transferability of this learning across foreign markets and firms’ absorptive capacity for that knowledge. Regulatory-specific product knowledge, found to be the most important type required, appeared to affect significantly both market selection and mode of entry, and when acquired insufficiently, prevented internationalisation.

Research limitations/implications

While the sample size is relatively small, and sector-specific, the findings were consistent across all the SME firms and firm types. They may also be generalisable to other sectors, firm sizes such as MNEs and types, particularly those which are knowledge-based or highly regulated, given that similar institutional knowledge and processes of acquisition are necessary for firms of all sizes in internationalisation.

Practical implications

International marketing managers will gain valuable insights, based on a framework proven to propel firms to successful internationalisation, upon how to plan, organise, manage and match their institutional knowledge-seeking and learning activities with their firms’ internal capabilities, staffing and other resources in an effective and timely manner.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the conceptual understanding of the institutional knowledge learning process in the internationalisation.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Bruce Mtigwe

The objectives of this paper are to: examine the specific process that small entrepreneurial firms follow in their internationalization; identify the key influences on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of this paper are to: examine the specific process that small entrepreneurial firms follow in their internationalization; identify the key influences on the entire process; and identify the process outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Four research questions are proposed to achieve the stated objectives. A cross‐industry, cross‐sectional survey involving a judgment sample of 1,900 small entrepreneurial firms that are engaged in international business was used. A total of 494 (26 per cent) usable responses were obtained. Correlation coefficients, frequency tables, factor analysis and discriminant analysis were used to analyse the data.

Findings

There are four micro‐processes that have a bearing on the shape and pace of the internationalization process. These relate to: accelerators, export barriers, selectors of intra‐stage foreign market development and foreign market outcomes. The paper concludes that, based on the internationalization experience of small entrepreneurial firms within Southern Africa, there is a common: set of influences on the process; preference for exporting; set of intra‐stage alternatives; and set of market outcomes that modify future internationalization. Therefore, there is a common integrated model of entrepreneurial firm internationalization.

Research limitations/implications

Wide generalizations cannot be made because of the localized context of the research. Therefore, the usefulness of the research is limited to the Southern African region. Future research could perhaps test the Southern African entrepreneurial firm internationalization model in other environments to facilitate comparisons.

Practical implications

Entrepreneurial firms with international ambitions must emphasize an international orientation in their recruitment and training of key managerial staff, while policy‐makers need to sharpen the focus of their interventions on profiling individuals first, and firms second, while at the same time building mechanisms that sustain small to medium‐sized enterprises (SME) international business growth.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a knowledge gap in respect of the entrepreneurial firm internationalization process in the context of Southern Africa. This knowledge is of value to academics, SMEs and policy‐makers alike. The paper also provides an integrative conceptual framework and practical advice on how SME international business growth can be encouraged, given its importance to economic growth prospects within the Southern African region.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Long W. Lam and Louis P. White

Stage models have benefited global managers by seeing internationalization as an evolutionary and learning process that involved making careful and incremental changes…

Abstract

Stage models have benefited global managers by seeing internationalization as an evolutionary and learning process that involved making careful and incremental changes. What the stage models lack, however, are specification of internal problems and hurdles that managers will face during this organizational change process. We attempted to fill this knowledge gap by exploring types of managerial dilemmas that organizations will confront as they internationalize. This adaptive choice process of internationalization was discussed in this paper through the case of a domestic company during its overseas expansion. Our research shows that the internationalization process often creates managerial dilemmas for organizations in terms of strategic, structural, and human resource changes. There are also strong interactions among these dilemmas such that the decision regarding one dilemma may often impact how other dilemmas can be resolved Firms that are able to resolve these dilemmas, while considering their interactions, can become more successful in their internationalization process. These findings were developed into propositions regarding how companies can manage the process of internationalization more successfully. We also addressed specifically how the adaptive choice model would complement the stage models and enrich our understanding of the corporate internationalization process.

Details

The International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1055-3185

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 July 2018

Sérgio Rezende, Kátia Galdino and Bruce Lamont

The purpose of this paper is to establish a conversation between international business and international entrepreneurship literatures by analyzing if and how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish a conversation between international business and international entrepreneurship literatures by analyzing if and how international opportunities are related to the internationalization process of the firm.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports finding from a backward-looking longitudinal, qualitative, embedded case study of an internationalized Brazilian firm, covering all 13 foreign markets where the firm has operated over 18 years.

Findings

Modal shifts within foreign markets were rare. Over time, the firm learned how to refine, rather than change, the servicing modes within each foreign market; it also learned how to better develop internal and exploitative opportunities, manage a portfolio of servicing modes across foreign markets, and use more complex mode servicing packages. Overall, international opportunities and the internationalization process of the firm were inextricably connected.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledge limitations related to the statistical generalizability of the research method and suggest that statistical validation is needed as the research on opportunities and the internationalization process of the firm progresses.

Practical implications

Internationalizing firms should carefully consider the choice of entry mode in foreign markets. They should also understand that learning is not necessarily associated with change.

Originality/value

The authors show that the internationalization process of a traditional firm can be analyzed through an opportunity lens. This means associating characteristics of international opportunities with mode continuation and modal shifts in all foreign markets where the firm operates.

Details

RAUSP Management Journal, vol. 53 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2531-0488

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

José Pla‐Barber and Alejandro Escribá‐Esteve

Recent studies are trying to adapt the explanation of the internationalisation process to new environmental conditions. This paper aims to offer evidence of the existence…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent studies are trying to adapt the explanation of the internationalisation process to new environmental conditions. This paper aims to offer evidence of the existence of a group of firms that use a speeded‐up internationalisation process.

Design/methodology/approach

Cluster analysis and logit regressions are used on a sample of 271 Spanish export firms.

Findings

The results obtained support the claim that substantial differences do exist between fast and gradual internationalising firms. The firms included in the more international active group are characterised by: a proactive attitude on the part of managers with regard to internationalisation activities, a strategy based on marketing differentiation advantages and strong relationships with clients and suppliers, which encourage or facilitate their international activities.

Practical implications

The results may favour reflection upon what are the most important factors for achieving an active, international strategy and how to respond to these demands. The stimulation of relationships between firms will reduce the uncertainty associated with the risks of foreign operations and increase the international competitiveness of firms.

Originality/value

From a politics perspective the research suggests several ways to stimulate the acceleration of the internationalisation process.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Hsiu Ying Huang and Ming Huei Hsieh

This study aims to employ a knowledge‐based capability approach to explore how born global firms accelerate their internationalization.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to employ a knowledge‐based capability approach to explore how born global firms accelerate their internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a qualitative in‐depth case study approach. Various types and sources of data were collected to provide a rich and solid foundation for theory development and data triangulation. These comprised semi‐structured interviews, field observations and archival material.

Findings

The findings show that the transformation process of international knowledge may more adequately account for the difference in internationalization at conventional globals and born globals than the “indigenous” knowledge resource, i.e. founder experience. Born global firms accelerate their internationalization process through a three‐stage transformation process: knowledge acquisition and dissemination, knowledge integration, and knowledge institutionalization. Two underlying knowledge mechanisms are identified: vertical and horizontal knowledge thrust.

Originality/value

The knowledge transformation process constitutes the basis of “acceleration” of born globals' internationalization. The speed of a born global's internationalization is rooted in its ability to transform internationalization knowledge resident in individual employees into organizational strategies and operational procedures. The finding bridges the gap by identifying effective organizational mechanisms in management of the knowledge process. The “speed‐up” mechanism identified in this research can equip born globals as well as conventional globals with the ability to respond quickly in a dynamic international environment.

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