New IE Articles — October 2022

Management International Review – DOI:

When Born Globals Grow Up: A Review and Agenda for Research on the Performance of Maturing Early Internationalizers

Joan Freixanet, Ryan Federo

Born globals (BG)’ post-entry evolution is a process characterized by superior growth opportunities, but also higher risks of failure. These concerns lead to the fundamental question regarding the factors that may play a role in BGs’ post-entry performance and survival. To provide a comprehensive picture on this issue, this paper critically examines 185 articles that have appeared in 39 academic journals over the past three decades. Drawing on complexity theory, we map a dynamic complex system comprising the interplay of six components relating to system inputs, managerial and firm-level capabilities – e.g., innovativeness, learning, and experience – , networks and system outputs – e.g., international growth and survival. Our review also suggests that strategic choices and orientations may act as change catalysts that bring BGs’ complex systems to the next stages of evolution, with further consequences on firm expansion. Our review contributes to the extant literature by taking stock of the present state of knowledge, and providing a taxonomy on the components of the dynamic system that influences the post-entry performance and survival of BGs. Furthermore, this paper and the resulting taxonomy unpacks the various sources of BGs’ heterogeneity, based on factors such as their different resources, capabilities, and strategies. In doing so, the paper uncovers significant gaps and contradictions in the literature, which opens important opportunities for future research. The paper concludes with a discussion of managerial and public policy implications.

Management International Review—DOI:

The Multiple Dimensions of Embeddedness of Small Multinational Enterprises

Vanninen, H., McNaughton, R.B. & Kuivalainen, O.

This research investigates how small multinational enterprises (small MNEs) internationalize by opening branch offices or subsidiaries in foreign markets, managing their multiple embeddedness in their host and home locations, and their subsidiaries’ dual embeddedness in external environments and within their organizations. We study four small multinational enterprises, two each from the small open economies of New Zealand and Finland, and we use literature from entrepreneurship and international business to derive a model of these multiple dimensions of embeddedness. The cases illustrate how firms can become more (or less) embedded in their locations through their physical presence, operations, key employees, and local hires while achieving internal organizational embeddedness through their corporate structure and social and technological bridging. Our research gives insight into how small MNEs may overcome their liabilities of smallness, foreignness, and outsidership by drawing on resources from home and host locations and sharing this throughout the organization.

International Marketing Review – DOI:

A vicarious learning perspective on the relationship between home-peer performance and export intensity among SMEs

Baum, M., Sui, S., Malhotra, S.

Home-peer firms (i.e. firms from the same industry and country) noticeably influence the internationalization behavior of small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Drawing from vicarious learning literature, the authors theorize how home-peer firms’ success in export markets affects SMEs’ export intensity into those markets. The authors test the hypotheses on a sample of 32,108 Canadian SME exporters. A Tobit model was used to examine the effect of home-peer performance and its interactions with firm age, export experience, and geographic and institutional distance on export entry intensity. The authors find that SMEs are more likely to enter export markets with higher intensity if home-peer firms perform well in those markets. This home-peer influence is stronger when the SME lacks export experience, when the home-peer information is more recent, and when environmental uncertainty is high.

Strategic Change – Volume 31, pg. 179-191

Foreign market knowledge, international opportunity recognition, and the performance of export-manufacturing firms

Mostafiz, MI, Sambasivan, M, Goh, SK. 

Accumulating foreign market knowledge is critically essential for international entrepreneurs operating in the export-manufacturing industry to recognise new international opportunities. Foreign market knowledge positively improves the international opportunity recognition process to achieve superior performance of export-manufacturing firms. Foreign institutional knowledge is the most important among three types of foreign market knowledge that international entrepreneurs should leverage to recognise new opportunities. International entrepreneurs must seek foreign market knowledge from the breadth of various sources in their quest for successful international performance.