International Business Review—DOI:

Rapid internationalization and exit of exporters: The role of digital platforms

Ziliang Deng, Ziyan Zhu, Martin Johanson, Mikael Hilmersson

Digital platforms have been developing fast which transform the benefits and costs of rapid internationalization of firms on them. Employing transaction cost economics perspective, we argue that the transaction attributes of asset specificity, transaction uncertainty, and transaction frequency, have all changed fundamentally in digital platform-based transactions. They render the organizational learning in rapid Internet exporting to counterbalance the diseconomies of time compression caused by the lack of organizational absorptive capacity. By using the three attributes as underlying mechanisms, we hypothesize that the expansion speed of exporters on digital platforms reduces exit hazards of the exporters. We further hypothesize that digital signals on product quality strengthen the main effect. As for digital infrastructure, we recognize its competing effects and make curvilinear moderating hypotheses. Survival analyses based on 353,636 entries of real transaction records from a digital exporting platform have provided robust findings. This study highlights the importance of examining how the digital platform reshapes the transaction attributes and internationalization-performance relationship.

International Business Review—DOI:

Becoming a small multinational enterprise: Four multinationalization strategies for SMEs

Heini Vanninen, Joona Keränen, Olli Kuivalainen

SME multinationalization is an emerging yet underexplored topic in internationalization research. Previous studies have focused on identifying the key features of one ‘ideal’ multinationalization approach but shed less light on the potential alternative approaches that firms can use in different situations. Based on an empirical multiple case study of eight SMEs, this study identifies four alternative multinationalization strategies that SMEs can use (resource seeking, hub reaching, serendipitous resource leveraging, and controlled expansion) and illuminates their specific characteristics. The findings of this study demonstrate that instead of one ‘ideal’ approach, there are multiple strategies that SMEs can adopt for multinationalization and suggest that each strategy is characterized by different FDI goals, timing, organizational structure and value chain activities. Overall, this study contributes to contemporary international business research by advancing theorization on SME multinationalization.

International Marketing Review—38 (5):  pp. 1006-1046

The determinants of international new venture performance: a review and future research agenda

Huang, S., Zhu, Y., Zhang, K. and Ding, Z. 

The purpose of this paper is to critically review and synthesize the articles on determinants of international new venture (INV) performance to identify the research gaps in this area and develop a future research agenda. Adopting a semi-systematic review approach with a fucus on using a vote-counting technique, this paper reviews 99 journal articles published between 1994 and 2019 to assess the determinants of INV performance. The results indicate that the majority of the INV performance articles employ a clearly specified theoretical foundation, focus on INVs in developed economies and non-service sectors, identify numerous firm-level determinants of INV performance and use advanced statistical methods (e.g. structural equation modeling and panel data models). However, the research of INV performance is still limited by a lack of a broader integration of theories at different levels, inconsistent theoretical predictions and empirical results, knowledge gaps, and estimation biases (e.g. endogeneity).

critical perspectives on international business—DOI:

International opportunity development of born global firms: the role of institutions

Romanello, R., Karami, M., Gerschewski, S., Evers, N. and He, C.X. 

The purpose of the study is to investigate the international opportunity development process of born global firms embedded in two different institutional contexts: China, an emerging economy and Italy, a developed country. Drawing on the entrepreneurial opportunity literature and institutional theory, this study explores and draws insights into how home country institutions of born globals can influence the international opportunity development process of the firms. This paper adopts a qualitative case study approach with in-depth, semi-structured interviews of six born global companies from China and Italy. In doing so, this study uses a flexible pattern matching design, which is consistent with the qualitative research design of the paper. The findings of the study indicate that home institutions play an influential, yet differential role in the international opportunity development processes of Chinese and Italian born global firms. While the Italian firms shape their opportunities mainly through product innovation, their Chinese counterparts develop opportunities primarily through networks embedded in their home institutional context.