Journal of Business Research – 2014, Volume 67, Issue 6, Pages 1081–1089
The inception of internationalization of small and medium enterprises: The role of activeness and networks
Luciano Ciravegna, Sara B Majano and Ge Zhan
- This study analyzes how exporters begin their internationalization leveraging information collected through interviews with 109 Chinese textile manufacturers. It examines whether firms that found their first international clients through a “proactive” search are likely to export faster, more intensively, and to a larger number of markets. The findings illustrate that the proactiveness of the search for the first client in a foreign market is an important predictor of the intensity and geographic scope of the firm’s internationalization path but not of its speed. They support the view of internationalization as an actively pursued entrepreneurial process, which may also be affected by serendipitous events. This study provides new evidence on the first international business discovery of Chinese exporters, contributing to the literature on international entrepreneurship, international new ventures and the network approach to internationalization.
International Business Review – 2014, Volume 23, Issue 5, Pages 981–992
Entrepreneurial strategic posture and learning effort in international ventures: The moderating roles of operational flexibilities
Dirk De Clercq, Harry J Sapienza, and Lianxi Zhou
- Drawing from the attention-based view, this article extends the study of international entrepreneurship by investigating how the contribution of international ventures’ entrepreneurial strategic posture to their actual learning efforts in foreign markets depends on various flexibilities that underlie their operations. The results from a sample of international Chinese ventures indicate that an entrepreneurial strategic posture enhances international learning effort more to the extent that the ventures possess greater cognitive and political flexibilities. Somewhat paradoxically, greater structural flexibility impedes the translation of an entrepreneurial strategic posture into international learning effort. The findings have important implications for the growing body of research that adopts an international new venture perspective.
International Business Review – 2014, Volume 23, Issue 5, Pages 1021–1033
Choice of markets for initial export activities: Differences between early and late exporters
Angeles Gallego and Jose C Casillas
- The behaviour of early exporters not only challenges the perspective of the sequential process of internationalization, but it also questions general concepts in the field of management, such as the liability of newness and the liability of foreignness. This study analyses how firms initiate their export activities and proposes differences between early exporters and other firms. The results of our empirical investigation demonstrate that early exporters begin exporting to a greater number of countries than late exporters. However, in the case of early exporters, those countries are institutionally closer to the country of origin of the firm. Finally, we analyze the role played by financial resources in the choice of markets for those initial exports.
International Business Review – 2014, Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 635–647
‘Expect the unexpected’: Implications of effectual logic on the internationalization process
Igor Kalinic, Saras D Sarasvathy and Cipriano Forza
- International entrepreneurship literature has indicated that entrepreneurs often increase international activities along unexpected lines of reasoning without having a precise goal, resulting in “unplanned” internationalization. We argue that “unplanned” internationalization does not necessarily involve non-logical decisions; but, entrepreneurs can follow an effectual rather than causal logic and may base their decisions on the affordable loss principle rather than on the maximization of expected returns. Based on five case-studies, we discuss the implication of effectual decision-making on the internationalization process. We find that switching from causal to effectual logic allows firms to rapidly increase the level of commitment in the foreign market and could assist in overcoming liabilities of outsidership and, therefore, successfully increase the level of commitment in the foreign market.
International Business Review – 2014, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 468–477
Entrepreneurial founding team exits in rapidly internationalising SMEs: A double edged sword
Sharon Loane, Jim Bell and Isobel Cunningham
- Entrepreneurial founding teams (EFTs) are often essential to new venture creation and successful internationalisation. Although the composition of EFTs has been the subject of enquiry, little research exists into the exit of team members and the consequences for rapid internationalisation. We focus on EFT exits in rapidly internationalising small firms and develop categories of EFT exits. We explore the motivations and subsequent impact on internationalisation of case firms to illustrate each category/type of EFT exit. We find that exits are prevalent in the early stages of ventures, and may be either consensual or non-consensual. There are a number of motivations evident and EFT exits are often critical to continued internationalisation. We offer that EFT exits are not always negative, they can allow for the appropriate deployment of resources, extending RBV/KBV as whilst much research effort has been devoted to establishing what new resources/knowledge should flow into a firm, we show that to shed an EFT member and redeploy resources/knowledge can act as a catalyst to further internationalisation. Finally we discuss research, managerial and policy implications.
Journal of International Marketing – 2014, Volume 22, Number 2, Pages 47-67
Entrepreneurial Strategic Posture and Performance in Foreign Markets: The Critical Role of International Learning Effort
Dirk De Clercq and Lianxi Zhou
- Drawing from the attention-based view of the firm, this study adds to research on the entrepreneurial process of early and rapid internationalization by investigating the mediating role of international learning effort in the relationship between international young ventures’ entrepreneurial strategic posture and international performance and explores how external and internal factors might moderate this role. Using data from international young ventures based in China, the authors show that an entrepreneurial strategic posture enhances international performance through the intensity of learning efforts expended in foreign markets. Furthermore, the findings reveal that this mediating effect of international learning effort is more pronounced at higher levels of external competitive intensity and intrafirm social interaction. This study has great significance for the increasing body of research on international new ventures in that it reveals a critical behavioral mechanism that underpins the learning advantages of these ventures.