Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, Volume 3, Issue 2, 2008
A study of the enablers of non-sequential internationalization
process among small and medium-sized firms
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Department of Business Studies, University of Gavle,
SE-801 76 Gavle, Sweden
Tel: +46 (0) 26 64 85 84
Fax: +46 (0) 26 64 85 89
The question addressed in this paper is: Is non-sequential internationalization process solely technology enabled
or a product of mutually interdependent forces? It is shown in this paper that even though the sequential
approach in the process model is intuitively appealing, not all firms follow such a path. This void is filled by
explaining how the international market entry process has changed with respect to the sequential approach. Data
collection entails 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 include: 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 relationship approach to study the international activity of a firm; and
the interplay between the identified driving forces behind a non-sequential internationalization process.
Knowledge acquired from the empirical study 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. Implications include: all firms are 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.
Keywords: non-sequential, Born globals, Uppsala internationalization model, transaction costs, relationships
and networks
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Internationalization the process of increasing involvement in international operations across borders
(Welch & Luostarinen, 1988) comprises both changed perspectives and changed positions. Thus
internationalization is a major dimension of the ongoing strategy process of most business firms (Melin, 1997).
With the development of behavioural internationalization models (Johanson & Vahlne, 1977, 1990; Hedlund, &
Kverneland, 1985; Babichenko, 2006; Ruzzier et al., 2006), an unprecedented corpus of work in the
internationalization process of the firm has been produced in the last three decades. Thus the export behaviour
and internationalization processes of firms have received tremendous attention in extant literature involving
different and complementary research fields, from international business to international marketing and more
recently international entrepreneurship (Evans et al., 2000; Hutchinson et al., 2006; Evans & Bridson, 2005;
Servais & Rasmussen, 2004). Since the mid-1970s, two distinct streams of research have emerged, one in
Europe, e.g. (Johanson & Vahlne, 1977, 1990), and one in North America, e.g. (Bilkey, 1977; Cavusgil, 1980).
Both research traditions conceptualize export development as taking place in gradual and sequential stages
(learning sequences involving feedback loops), based on a series of incremental commitment decisions
depending on perceptions, expectations, experience, managerial capacity, etc. The firm is assumed to build a
stable domestic position before starting international activities.
The Uppsala model (Johanson & Vahlne, 1977, 1990) has its theoretical base in the behavioural theory of
the firm (Cyert & March, 1963; Aharoni, 1966). The origin of the behavioural approach and its role in a firm’s
growth path is found in the theory of the growth of the firm (Penrose, 1959). The basic assumption in Johanson
& Vahlne’s (1977) model is that the outcome of one decision - or more generally one cycle of events
constitutes the input of the next. This internationalization model is considered a process in which a firm’s
international engagement is believed to increase gradually. The process evolves in the interplay between the
development of knowledge about the foreign markets and operations, and an increasing commitment of
resources to those markets (Johanson & Vahlne, 1990; Johanson & Associates, 1994). The central issues of the
model are how organizations learn and how their learning affects their investment behaviour (Forsgren, 2002).
Another important aspect of the Uppsala model is that it is a dynamic model; it describes the internationalization
of a firm as a gradual process. However, the number of people with extensive experience of international trade
has also grown, meaning that firms can easily hire the competence they require rather than creating it themselves
(Hollensen, 2001; Hill, 2003; Wild et al., 2003). In an evolving international economy dominated by growing
global integration, emerging fragmentation of traditional markets into global niches, and the birth of new
competitive spaces thanks to technological developments, the steps and modes of foreign markets entry could
experience significant deviations compared to the internationalization patterns of firms characterized by a series
of incremental decisions, experiential learning and risk aversion, as envisaged in the traditional sequential
models (Luostarinen, 1994; Cavusgil, 1980; Bilkey & Tesar 1977; Leonidou & Katsiekas 1996; Johanson &
Vahlne, 1977, 1990). As the stage models imply internationalization in stages in countries with little
psychological distance, it is not particularly applicable to those types of firms that tend to skip certain stages of
the process in order to accelerate it. A review of extant literature gives the impression of a fragmented view of
the driving forces behind the rapid internationalization process encountered by many small and medium size
firms today.
The basic research question to answer in this paper is: Is non-sequential internationalization process enabled
by single independent factors (e.g. technology, networking ability, business specific or globalisation factors) as
commonly envisaged in literature (Lindqvist, 1991; Saarenketo et al 2004; Coviello and Munro, 1997; Chetty
and Blankenbourg Holm, 2000; Jolly et al., 1992; Bell, 1995; Keeble et al., 1998; De la Torre and Moxon, 2001;
Dunning and Wymbs, 2001; Autio et al, 2000), or a product of mutually interdependent forces?
In other words, 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. This void is filled by explaining how the international
market entry process has changed with respect to the sequential approach. The findings 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.
The rest of this paper proceeds with a presentation of internationalization models that can be used to explain
the rapid internationalization process encountered by many small and medium size firms today, followed by a
description of the research context and presentation of the findings. The knowledge gained from the empirical
studies is then used to develop a framework that links the driving forces behind the non-sequential approach to
internationalization. The paper closes with concluding remarks and implications. In this paper, stage models and
Uppsala model are synonymous and both models used to depict sequential process of internationalisation.
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
Three models for explaining the internationalization process form the basis for the theoretical framework.
Transaction Cost Approach suggests that the most efficient choice of internationalization pattern is one that will
help minimise production and transaction costs (see Table 1). In contrast to series of incremental decisions,
experiential learning and risk aversion envisaged in Uppsala Internationalization model, extant literatures
suggest that a network perspective can be used to study the rapid internationalization of SMEs.
The point of departure of the corpus of writings on internationalisation of firms is general marketing
theories. The Penrosian tradition (Penrose, 1959; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990), for example, reflects the traditional
marketing focus on the firm’s core competences combined with opportunities in the foreign environment (cf.
Hollensen, 2007). The cost-based view of this tradition suggests that the firm must possess a “compensating
advantage” in order to overcome the “cost of foreignness” (Kindleberger, 1969; Hymer, 1976; Dunning, 1980,
1988). This led to internationalisation being dealt with as the choice between exporting and Foreign Direct
Investment (Dunning, 1980, 1988; Leonidou, and Katsikeas, 1996; Buckley et al 1998) Later on, technological
and marketing skills were identified as the key success factors in foreign entry (Jolly et al 1992; Bell, 1995;
Bennett, 1997; De la Torre and Moxon, 2001). During the past decade there has been increased focus on
internationalization in networks, by which the firm has different relationships not only with customers but also
with other actors in the environment (Axelsson and Easton, 1992; Håkansson and Johanson, 1992; Hadley and
Wilson, 2003; Boari et al., 2004, Johanson and Mattsson, 2006; Johnsen, 2007).
Uppsala Internationalization (Stage or Sequential) Model
The main consequence of the Uppsala Internationalization Model (Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul, 1975;
Johanson and Vahlne, 1977) is that firms tend to intensify their commitment towards foreign markets as their
experience grows. The core antecedents of the Uppsala Internationalisation Model are experiential learning and
risk aversion. Together, the two issues explain why firms typically adopt an incremental and sequential approach
to internationalization, while the different stages describe how the process occurs (Chetty, 1999; Zucchella,
2004; Servais & Rasmussen, 2004). The Uppsala model thus describes, and to some extent predicts, the
internationalization process of firms (Cavusgil, 1980; Bilkey & Tesar, 1977; Leonidou & Katsiekas, 1996;
Johanson & Vahlne, 1977, 1990). Its basic premise is that the outcome of one decision or, more generally, one
cycle of events makes up the input of the next. In the model, a distinction is made between the static and the
changing aspects of the variables of internationalization. Commitment of resources to the foreign markets
(market commitment), and knowledge about foreign markets and operations, are the two main components of the
static aspects. Decisions to commit resources and conducting current business activities are the main variables of
the change aspects. Market commitment and market knowledge are believed to influence the decisions about
commitment of resources to foreign markets and how current activities are conducted. Thus internationalization
is seen as causal of cycles.
Transaction Cost Approach (TCA)
The foundation for TCA was made by Coase (1939). He argued that analysis should focus on the costs of
entering into transactions (see Table 1). The internalization perspective is closely related to the TCA
(Williamson, 1975). The paradigmatic question in internalization theory is that, upon deciding to enter a foreign
market, should a firm do so through internalization within its own boundaries (a subsidiary) or through some
form of collaboration with an external partner (externalization)? The internalization and TCA are both concerned
with the minimization of Transaction Cost and the conditions underlying market failure (Williamson, 1979;
Horaguchi & Toyne, 1990; McNaughton, 2002; Dunning, 1980, 1988). The intention is to analyse the
characteristics of a transaction in order to decide on the most efficient, i.e. Transaction Cost minimizing,
governance mode. The internalization theory can be considered the TCA of the multinational corporation
(Rugman, 1986; Madhok, 1998). For example, when a firm is going to internationalize, it may find the search
costs for a nearby and familiar market more acceptable than those for a market further away. And, if it finds that
it is cheaper to organize the internationalization through an intermediary, it will externalise.
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Table 1: Three models for explaining the internationalization process
Internationalisation Model
(Johanson & Wiedersheim-
Paul, 1975; Johanson &
Vahlne, 1977, 1990, 1993;
Cavusgil, 1980; Bilkey &
Tesar, 1977; Leonidou &
Katsiekas, 1996. Forsgren,
2002. servais & Rasmussen,
2004; Anderson, 1993;
Transaction Cost Analysis)
(Williamson, 1975, 1985; Buckly
& Casson, 1976; Rugman, 1986:
Madhok, 1998; Kogut, 1988;
Contractor & Lorange, 1988),
Hollensen, 2007; Donaldson &
O`Toole, 2007; McNaughton,
2002; Borgensen, 2006; Horaguchi
and Toyne, 1990)
Network Model
(Johanson & Mattsson, 1988,1992;
Johanson & Associates, 1994;
Johanson & Vahlne, 2003;
Håkansson & Johanson, 1992; Ford
et al. 1986; Turnbull & Valla, 1986;
Axelsson &Easton, 1992; Chetty &
lankenburg-Holm, 2000; Mattsson
& Johanson, 2006; Chistokhvalova,
2004; Ford et al., 1986; Tikkanen,
1998; Havila et al. 2004)
Unit of
The firm The transaction cost approach
focuses on costs and how these
costs affect a firm’s choice of
market and mode of entry.
Draws on theories of social
exchange and focuses on firm
behaviour in the context of
interorganizational and interpersonal
about firm’s
Internationalization is linked
with managerial learning - a
key element for a firm
moving from one stage to
another. Internationalization
is defined as a step-by-step
process from the simplest
form (export) to
manufacturing abroad (This
process combines getting
experience and knowledge
and increasing resource
commitment to a foreign
Transaction cost analysis proposes
that analysis should focus on the
costs of entering into transactions.
It views organisational structure as
one important arrangement for
establishing and safeguarding
transactions and reducing
transaction costs between
participants and across
organisational boundaries. Hence it
is useful to classify transaction
costs into: costs of searching for
information about markets,
products, buyers and sellers;
negotiation costs; and monitoring
(enforcement) costs.
The ‘glue’ that keeps the
relationships together is based on
technical, economic, legal and
especially personal ties. It
emphasizes the role and influence of
social relationships in business
transactions. According to the
network perspective, a relationship
involves the control of resources, the
implementation of activities, or the
link between resource and activity.
A firm does not act alone in relation
to other actors in a market. Through
interactions, the various actors build
knowledge about mutual trust,
which leads to a strong commitment.
affecting the
Internationalization is seen
as causal of cycles. Further
market commitment occurs
in small steps with three
exceptions: The
consequences of
commitment are small when
firms have large resources.
Firms with surplus resources
are therefore expected to take
larger internationalization
steps; Relevant market
knowledge can be gained in
ways other than through
experience if market
conditions are homogeneous
and stable.
However, in the real world there
are transactional difficulties
between buyer and seller. This
friction is mainly caused by
opportunistic behaviour: the self-
conscious attention of the single
manager. Transactional difficulties
and transaction costs increase
when transactions are characterized
by: Asset specificity; Uncertainty
(internal and external); Frequency
of transaction.
Long-term relationships between
business actors and the context in
which the firm operates have the
explanatory value in the description
of the internationalization of firms.
Hence the network in which the firm
is active enables the
internationalization. All the actors in
a network are interdependent and
interact with each other in one way
or another. This makes it possible
for a firm to have a high degree of
internationalization without a high
degree of assets in a specific foreign
market. Another assumption in the
model is that a firm is dependent on
other firms’ resources within the
network, for example, customer and
supplier relationships.
Additional market
commitments should be
made in small
incremental steps: Choose
new geographic markets with
small psychic
distances from existing
markets; Choose an ‘entry
mode’ with few
marginal risks.
Firms should select the
organizational form/location for
which transaction costs are
minimized. A firm will expand its
operations until the cost of making
an extra transact-ion within the
firm is equal to the cost of making
similar transaction elswhere. The
firm will continue to grow
internally, internalise, until
external sources have a cost
advantage, and then externalise.
Network relationships are critical
avenues for the acquisition of
resources and knowledge necessary
for foreign development of firms.
The relationships of firm in a
domestic network can be used as
bridges to other networks in other
countries. Such direct or indirect
bridges to different country
networks can be important in the
initial steps abroad and in the
subsequent entry of new markets.
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
Network Approach
Table 1 shows that the basic assumption of the network approach is that the international firm cannot be
analysed as an isolated actor but has to be viewed in relation to other actors in the international environment
(Turnbull and Valla, 1986; Johansson and Mattsson, 1988; Forsgren, 2002; Butel & Watkins, 2006). Many
trends in the international business environment of today are providing fertile conditions for the use of
relationship to cement and develop international business. Hence, a growing number of scholars advocate the
adoption of a network perspective to understand and explain the rapid internationalization of young firms
(Coviello & Munro, 1997; Chetty, & Campbell-Hunt, 2003; Hadley & Wilson, 2003; Johnsen, 2007). According
to Szarka (1990)
the small firm is particularly dependent on the nature and quality
of its relations with other firms
and with the external world.
These relations can be conceived in terms of exchange networks,
networks and social networks. Boari et al (2004) illuminated the role of social inter-organizational networks in
facilitating internationalization process. They extended the network approach to include the social networks
theory (Lin et al, 2001), thereby affirming that social competence available in firms enables the
internationalization process. A common denomination in the definition of social capital offered by Nahapiet and
Gh oshal (1998) and Lin et al. (2001) is their definition of social capital construct as resources embedded in a
social structure, which are accessed and/or mobilized in purposive actions, and it is considered a heterogeneous
resource that consists of structural, relational and cognitive components.
It is pertinent to mention that many firms no longer develop in incremental stages with respect to their
international activities (Aspelund et al., 2007; Andersson and Evangelista, 2006; Svensson, 2006; Knight et al.
2004). Firms are often reported to start international activities right from their birth, to enter very distant markets
right away, to enter multiple countries at once, to form joint ventures without prior experience, etc. Such firms
have been labelled International New Ventures (Oviatt & McDougall, 1994), High Technology Start-Ups (Jolly
et al., 1992), and Born Globals (Cavusgil, 1994; Knight & Cavusgil, 1996; Madsen & Servais, 1997; Autio et al,
2000) Born-again global firms (Bell et al. 2001); New generation of small European exporters (Moen, 2002);
International entrepreneurship (Mort and Weerawardena, 2006).The explanation for this new picture of
internationalization of firms is claimed to be increasingly global conditions, new developments in transportation
and communication technologies, and the rising number of people with international experience, networking and
entrepreneurial capabilities of the owners of the firm. Consequently, these variables (business-specific factors,
networking magnitude, entrepreneurial prowess, and global mindset) are extracted from extant literature. The
variables are used as yardstick to operationalise the research problem stated in this paper.
The following criteria were used to identify the firms that tend not to develop in incremental stages with
respect to their international activities, and therefore start international activities right from their birth, to enter
very distant markets right away, to enter multiple countries at once without prior experience, etc., are the
following: 1) The firms have been operating internationally for no more than five years; 2) The firms are
engaged in international operations and therefore maintain an international presence, with at least 50 percent of
sales volume from abroad; 3) The firms are not only exporters but also importers; 4) The firms encompass all
sectors, including high-tech, food products, entertainment, fashion, medical services, indeed, all business sectors;
5) They are small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) with a total workforce of no more than 10. The data banks of
the Swedish Trade Council and the Gävleborg and Stockholm counties’ Chambers of Commerce were utilized to
locate the firms. The empirical study entails analysis of new exporters from among the small and medium-sized
firms. This means that the focus was not only on new entrepreneurial firms, but also on firms that have
recently begun to export to Sweden and from Sweden, as well as on firms with growing exports in the five years
prior to the survey the so-called emerging exporters. In this way, sporadic exporters were excluded from the
survey, along with firms that were highly international. 90 emerging exporters were identified and, of these, 60
answered the questionnaire and were also interviewed. Since the survey encompasses Swedish SMEs operating
in other countries and foreign SMEs operating in Sweden that meet the above-stated five criteria, the findings
(review of extant literature and empirical data reported in this paper) are transferable to other geographical
During the data collection process, the majority of the companies requested anonymity. The characteristics
of the investigated firms are summarized in Table 2, which lists variables such as business-specific factors or
line of business, niche focus, networking attitude and magnitude, entrepreneurial prowess or organizational
capabilities, and geographical coverage or global mindset. The above characteristics were measured against
performance parameters rated as Strong (based on a score of > 85%), High (a score of >75%), Average and
Weak (a score of <75% and <25%, respectively). Precocity implies the number years from inception to first
foreign sales. “0” implies that the firm was global from day one and without sales in the domestic market. In this
study, business networks are defined as a set of interconnected business relationships, in which each exchange
relation is between firms conceptualized as collective actors (Anderson et al., 1994; Håkansson & Johanson,
Aihie Osarenkhoe
1992), which has shown that establishment and development of lasting business relationships are important
elements in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of firms.
Entrepreneurial prowess, in this study, assessed the role of entrepreneur along the dimension of vision,
innovativeness, and organizational capabilities in international growth. The frame of reference to operationalize
the entrepreneurial prowess and managerial factors in this study originates from Zucchella’s (2004)
recommendations. Entrepreneurial prowess and managerial factors are operationalized against the background of
the changing economic landscape in the business environment which has led to the emergence of a new breed of
entrepreneurs and managers with a higher education than their predecessors, and a stronger international vision
(thanks to intense use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), frequent travel, studies abroad,
better knowledge of foreign languages). The relevance of business-specific factors (niche orientation) in
explaining early and fast international growth has been underlined. It is assumed that niche orientation could be a
driver of early and accelerated internationalization processes, because micro-segmenting potential markets are by
definition a world-based process (Zucchella, 2004). This implies that global scope (Nummela, 2004) is the
natural outcome of a deep niche focus. Deep niche firms, although small in size, can be leaders in their market
segment on a global scale (Malaksedh & Nahavandi, 1985). For the purpose of this study, opting for a deep
niche focus is predominantly a matter of entrepreneurial drivers, competences and vision, with a strong impact
on the firm’s international performance. For this reason, the argument will also be considered under
entrepreneurial factors.
Table 2 below shows findings from survey of 60 small and medium-sized firms (SMEs ). The criteria for
selecting Swedish SMEs operating in other countries and foreign SMEs operating in Sweden entail firms that
tends not to develop in incremental stages with respect to their international activities is available in the previous
section. In Table 2, global in terms of geographical mindset implies that the firm operates in one form or the
other in at least three continents. EU implies that the firm has international activities in at least eight of the
European Union member countries. Europe : if the firm is operating in some EU nations and at least two
European states that are not members of EU. Americas includes North and South America. The firm is regarded
to have operation in the Americas if it conducts business in at least five Latin American nations and some states
in USA. Asia implies that the firm is operating in at least eighty Asian countries. The summary in Table 2 shows
that non-sequential internationalization processes are common and typically include the features of born globals
and in some cases leapfrogging. A majority of the firms showed strong international vision and organizational
capabilities, despite the absence of international experience. The knowledge gap was filled by employing export
consultants, and the Swedish Trade Council as well as Chambers of Commerce proved to be valuable in this
regard. All the investigated firms fit into the born global characteristics: global orientation within two years of its
inception, niche focus, non-sequential entry modes, global mindset irrespective of psychic distance, greater
proportion of sales abroad, and in some cases no domestic sales at all (Mort & Weerawardena, 2006; Moen,
2002; Rasmussen et al., 2001). The salient features of an integrated framework where the main drivers of non-
sequential internationalization process are integrated are depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Integrated framework of the enablers of a non-sequential internationalization
Business Specific
Table 2: Findings from survey of 60 Swedish and foreign small and medium-
sized firms (SMEs).
sales to
tot. sales.
Entre -
on Techno-
logical tools
1 Medical high tech
JV (Joint venture) 90% 2 Global Strong Strong High
2 Foodstuffs Export 70% 2 Global Strong Strong High
3 High tech JV, production
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
4 Foodstuffs Exports 50% 1 EU, Asia,
Strong Strong High
5 Music Export, concerts,
90% 0 Global Strong Strong High
6 Online gaming Website 50% 1 Asia, EU,
Strong Strong High
7 Ecological
FDI (Foreign
direct investment)
80% 1 Global Strong Strong High
8 Foodstuffs Export, JV 60% 2 EU, Asia,
Strong Strong High
9 High tech FDI 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
10 Electronics Sales subsidiary 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
11 Online music Export 70% 1 Global Strong Strong High
12 Software FDI 95% 0 Global Strong Strong High
13 Precision
Export, JV, FDI 80% 2 Global Strong Strong High
14 Mechanical parts Export, sales
75% 2 Global Strong Strong High
15 Clothing/fashion World Wide Web 95% 0 Asia, EU,
Strong Strong High
16 Health foods Export, sales
80% 1 Global Strong Strong High
17 Health foods Export, agents 85% 0 Global Strong Strong Average
18 Home electronics Export, World
Wide Web
70% 0 Global Strong Strong High
19 Fashion/clothing Export, FDI 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
20 Leather products Export, FDI 80% 1 Global Strong Strong High
21 Hides & leather Export 98% 0 Global Strong Strong High
22 Cosmetics Export, FDI 78% 2 EU, USA,
Strong Strong High
23 Whitefish roe Export, website
80% 1 Global Strong Strong High
24 Jeans/clothing Export, agents 90% 0 EU, Asia,
Strong Strong High
25 Music Export, concerts 88% 1 Japan, China,
Strong Strong High
26 Organic foods Export, agents,
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
27 Video
Website 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
28 Fashion/clothing Export, website 92% 1 EU, Asia,
Strong Strong High
29 Music videos Website 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
30 Traditional foods Website, agents,
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
31 Traditional foods Agents, export 80% 1 Global Strong Strong High
32 Fashion/clothing Website, JV (Joint
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
33 Health foods Website, Export 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
34 Ecological
Website, Export 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
35 Music Export, online
90% 2 Global Strong Strong High
36 Online gaming Website 70% 1 Asia, EU,
Strong Strong High
37 Hides & leather JV, FDI 100% 1 Americas,
Strong Strong High
Aihie Osarenkhoe
38 Jeans/clothing Export, JV, FDI 60% 2 EU, Asia,
Strong Strong High
39 Fermented
Export, agents 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
40 Fermented
100% 0 Japan, China Strong Strong High
41 Cosmetics Export, sales
86% 1 Europe,
Strong Strong High
42 Whitefish roe Online sales,
100 0 Asia,
Strong Strong High
43 Ginger biscuits Export, website 80% 2 Global Strong Strong High
44 Crisp bread Export via online
90% 2 Global Strong Strong High
45 Clothing/fashion Online sales 95% 0 Asia, EU,
Strong Strong High
46 Health foods Export, sales
90% 0 Global Strong Strong High
47 Cosmetics Sales subsidiary,
95% 2 Europe,
Australia, Asia
Strong Strong Average
48 Smoked salmon Online sales 100% 0 Asia,
Strong Strong High
49 Music Concerts, in store
80% 1 Japan, China,
Strong Strong High
50 Glassware Export, online
90% 0 Europe, Asia,
Strong Strong High
51 Interior design Export, online
sales, JV
98% 1 Global Strong Strong High
52 Interior design Agents, JV 90% 0 Global Strong Strong High
53 Souvenir articles Web site, sales
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
54 Circular saw
Sales subsidiary,
90% 2 Asia,
Strong Strong High
55 Diamond
100% 0 Africa,
Strong Strong High
56 Traditional foods Online sales,
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
57 Hi-tech products Web site, Agents,
90% 0 Global Strong Strong High
58 Electronics Sales subsidiary,
98% 1 Global Strong Strong High
59 Music videos WWW, online 100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
60 Swedish
Sales subsidiary,
100% 0 Global Strong Strong High
The Non-sequential Internationalization Process
Findings presented in Table 2 aptly depict that firms did not follow the traditional stages pattern in
their internationalization process. This is a sharp contrast to the sequential model of internationalization
(Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul, 1975; Johanson & Vahlne, 1977, 1990, 2003). Such firms have been
termed born globals by Mort & Weerawardena (2006), Knight and Cavusgil (1996) and Madsen &
Servais (1997); global start-ups by Oviatt & McDougall (1994); high technology start-ups by Jolly et
al. (1992) and Keeble et al. (1998); infant multinationals by Lindqvist (1991); and international new
ventures by McDougall et al. (1994). The term born globals refers to firms that aspire to a rapid
international growth from early on in their lives, firms that implement a global strategy from inception
(McDougall et al., 1994; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994). Thus, the majority of the firms presented in
Table 2 exhibit the characteristics of born globals because many of them did not establish domestic
sales before starting international sales. Furthermore, in their choice of international market entry, the
majority of the firms ignored psychically close markets.
The concept, “born global” was introduced in academia by Cavusgi (1994): “There is emerging in
Australia a new breed of exporting companies, which contribute substantially to the nation’s exp ort
capital. The emergence of these exporters though not unique to the Australian economy, reflects two
fundamental phenomena of the 1990s: 1) Small is beautiful. 2) Gradual internationalization is dead” (p.
18). The main drivers of the non-sequential internationalization process model (see findings reported in
Table 2) consist of those that are firm-specific, executive management-specific, and those specific to
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
environmental forces following globalization. Among such factors are information technologies, which
constitute the backbone of globalizing economies and societies (Kobrin, 1991). From the firm’s
perspective, IT supports real-time information flows, increasing and speeding up access to global
sources of information and to global business opportunities, and makes possible the management of
international value chains (Quinn, 1992; De la Torre & Moxon, 2001).
The growth of born globals can also be explained by the increased importance of niche markets
(Moen, 2002). Customers in mature markets demand specialized and tailor-made products because as
global markets grow increasingly efficient, competition no longer takes place between individual
businesses, but between entire supply chains (Sahay, 2003, p. 76). All the small firms presented in
Table 2 have no other choice but to specialize within a niche because competition is so fierce both
domestically and abroad. Such firms often achieve success through fast access to the market as their
products undergo continuous innovation and improvement. In other words, they are dependent on the
speed offered by technological developments. This creates good conditions for born globals. Thus, a
number of factors play a role in the development of born globals, which also do business in markets
where cultural differences and psychological distance are of decreasing relevance (Knight & Cavusgil,
1996; Rasmussen et al. 2001). As the Uppsala model implies internationalization in stages in countries
with small psychological distance, it is not particularly applicable to those types of firms that tend to
skip certain stages of the process in order to enter markets faster.
Changed environmental conditions following globalization
The globalization concept is something different from the idea of worldwide homogenization of
preferences, structures, etc (Otlacan & Otlacan, 2006). Globalization is a highly dynamic process that
leads to a growing worldwide interdependence, both accompanied and boosted by a growth and
interconnection of systems, geography, firms and individuals (Wild et al., 2003). The findings reported
in Table 2 demonstrate that the globally networked economy creates potentially new ways in which
firms can create and capture value from being quick to respond to changes in the market and in the
environment (Brandenburger & Nalebuff, 1998; Eisenhardt, 1989), to being able to profit from
information scanning and intermediation (Evans & Wurster, 1999; Otlacan and Otlacan, 2006) and
from knowledge creation and exploitation (Dunning, 2000). All firms presented in Table 2 aim at
international markets and the global market right from birth. Nordström (1991), however, believes that
differences between countries are beginning to diminish, leading to less psychological distance in an
increasingly homogeneous world. This circumstance, he suggests, leads to a situation in which start-up
companies will be increasingly willing to enter markets that were previously far away in terms of
psychological distance. This may be a result of the increased globalization taking place at present (Hill,
2003; Wild, 2003). Consequently, there is not the same need to create knowledge within the company
either, as it is relatively easy to source externally, for example because of the increased international
focus of education. The number of people who have experience of international trade has increased,
meaning that firms can hire the competence they need rather than creating it themselves (Saarenketo et
al., 2004). The ongoing market globalization removes barriers between markets and enables knowledge
to be transferred easily across large distances.
Against this background, born global phenomenon is not limited to just a few firms; it applies to
the majority of newly established exporting firms. “Furthermore, in terms of global orientation, export
strategy, competitive advantages and market situation the newly established, highly-involved
exporters possess similar characteristics to the old global firms. Also, newly established low level
involvement exporters resemble old low level involvement exporters. Examining the differences
between newly established firms with high or low export involvement levels revealed that a decision
maker’s global orientation and market conditions (home and export markets) are important factors”
(Moen, 2002 p. 156). Consequently, this study supports findings by Moen (2006) that since a firm is
either “born global” or “born local”, the relevance of internationalization process stage models, as
described in previous research, must be questioned.
The role of technology in the internationalization process
According to Li et al. (2007), the first Internet boom started in the mid-1990s, and it quickly led to
a bubble on the stock markets, which eventually burst in 2001. However, the market recovered
very rapidly and by 2005 there was already talk of a second Internet boom, which is much more robust
than the first one. Continuous rapid developments in Internet and related technologies, infrastructure,
services and applications are leading to new opportunities and challenges that could not even be
envisaged only a few years ago” (Li et al. 2007). Key benefits of Internet technology frequently
mentioned by the firms listed in Table 2 are that it lowers the cost of internationalization (see Quelch &
Klein, 1996; Sterne, 1995; Hoffman & Novak, 1996). Specific savings were gained in market research
Aihie Osarenkhoe
(Hamill & Gregory, 1998), and simplified order processing (Bennett, 1997). Internet technology
reduces the cost of transactions for most businesses (Afua, 2001; Gong et al., 2007) because it is easier
to give the right offer to the right person at the right time. Thus, the ensuing lower resource
requirements serve to level the playing field so that financial resource constraints no longer inhibit the
internationalization of small firms to the extent suggested by some earlier small business
internationalization literature (Buckley et al., 1998; Hansen et al., 1994). Hence, small firms are
expected to benefit from the advent of the Internet (Kozinet, 1999) since information technology has
been viewed as a facilitator of internationalization (de la Torre & Moxon, 2001; Dunning & Wymbs,
2001).The connections between the simultaneous rise in the number of born globals , accelerated/serial
international growth paths, and the spread of globalization processes, with their typical time and space
compression features, shrinking transportation and communication costs (Hofstein, 1992), and better
accessibility to information and knowledge (Czinkota & Ronkaininen, 1995; Nordström, 1991), seem
in fact substantial (Knight & Cavusgil, 1996). The findings from this study support Quelch & Klein’s
viewpoint (1996) that the Internet may help firms to capitalize on global niche opportunities.
International business literature proposes global niche opportunities as a route for small, resource-
constrained firms to internationalize rapidly (Hollensen, 2007; Wild. et al., 2003). The findings
reported in Table 2 demonstrate that the Internet enables small firms to compete globally because they
can contact foreign customers without expensive and time -consuming travel. Sellers can demonstrate
their products to prospective customers inexpensively and rapidly via video teleconferencing. Home
office managers have closer, more rapid, and less expensive contact with their overseas operations by
using e-mail. Consequently, changes in the technological environment are one of the drivers leading
firms to globalization of their operations (see Table 2 above).
Business-specific factors
Business-specific factors are operationalized in this study as the characteristics or nature of the
product being sold (Malaksedh & Nahavandi, 1985; Zuccella, 2004). The feature of the globalizing
economy pushes towards early and fast internationalization of a growing number of activities and
firms, but this occurs much more massively and intensely in certain industries, where the impact of
globalization dominates or even shapes the business itself. The digital economy led to the progressive
dismantling of barriers between industries, creating new competitive arenas where previously separated
industries converged, progressively, mainly due to technological advances (Hamel & Prahalad, 1994).
In these enlarged arenas, there is room for smaller niche firms, innovative and capable of dominating
their specific sub-arenas. To do this successfully, firms included in this study developed, from their
inception, a global orientation. The findings in Table 2 are supported by viewpoints by Preece (1988);
Bell et al. (2001) and Blomstermo & Sharma (2002). Preece et al. (1988) outline three basic conditions
that draw these firms into an early international expansion: 1) The tendency to organize within a
narrowly -defined market niche, which leads to an international market horizon in order to break even,
since the domestic one at a small niche level does not permit the to reach adequate sales volumes;
2) The high development costs typical of most businesses in digital space; 3) The speed of competition
and product obsolescence, which leads firms with short product lifecycles and intense competitive
dynamics to simultaneous domestic and international market penetration.
With reference to Table 2, an increasing number of SMEs , encompassing both tangible products
(clothing, foodstuffs, music, electronics, etc.) and intangibles (health care, music concerts, travel, etc.),
are getting involved in international activities more rapidly and intensively than they have historically.
Evidence from this study is not in agreement with commonly held views that the non-sequential
internationalization process is attributed solely to high-tech firms. On the contrary, the findings
demonstrate that a non-sequential internationalization exists in all industries, but is most common
among high-tech firms in the IT sector. The importance of executive management is emphasized due to
the fact that their view of the world plays a major role. These views are also related to views exp ressed
by Borgersen (2006) that firm-level factors are more important determinants of export behaviour than
factors related to industry. The importance of firm characteristics seems especially true for industries
dominated by SMEs, as they represent a myriad of different production technologies and their industry
characteristics are hard to detect.
Entrepreneurial prowess
According to Butel & Watkins (2006), entrepreneurs operate in conditions of dynamic uncertainty;
identifying and exploiting opportunities presented by the business environment. Opportunistic search is
core to entrepreneurial activity. Findings reported in this study regarding entrepreneurial abilities show
that the executive managers of born globals are often greater risk-takers than managers in traditional
firms. They are also more innovative and have an explicit global vision, making no distinction between
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
the domestic and international markets. The whole world is viewed as a single marketplace. The typical
born global executive manager also has experience of an international market and has often previously
worked in an international firm; such managers are thus more capable of initiating a successful
international market entry as they have already built a network. Their common denominator is speed.
The above findings are in agreement with those of Saarenketo et al (2004). Moen (2002) also found
that the strategic choices and personal network of the entrepreneur are crucial, but that many questions
about the transfer of visions, leadership and knowledge remain unaddressed.
Firms that belong to the category reported in Table 2 were found to be more flexible in their
decision-making process. For example, they were quick to adapt to the demands and standards of
international markets. The owners of these firms have a global mindset. This finding is also in line with
that of Nummela (2004). Another societal trend that influences the growth of born globals is the
increasing relevance of global networks (Blomstermo et al, 2002). Successful international business is
facilitated to a great extent by partnerships and collaboration with international firms, including, for
example, suppliers and trade associations. According to Sahay (2003), collaboration can provide the
competitive edge that enables all the business partners in a supply chain to prevail and grow. In
addition, inexperienced managers can increase their chances of international success if they take their
time to build long-term and mutually profitable alliances with international companies (Hollensen,
2001; Elmuti & Kathawala, 2001; Todeva & Knoke, 2005). Successful international trade also
increases through the creation of partnerships with international players, such as distributors, trading
companies and traditional buyers and sellers (Blomstermo & Sharma, 2002). One way for small firms
to achieve international sales successes and at the same time suppress competition is, as mentioned
earlier and in Table 2, by entering into alliances with other firms. This observation is in agreement with
extant literature on strategic alliances and collaboration (for a review see: Elmuti & Kathawala, 2001;
Todeva & Knoke, 2005).
International Networking and relationship conceptualization
In the network context, internationalisation means that the firm develops business relationship in
networks in other countries through international extension, penetration or international integration
(Johanson and Mattsson, 1988; Coviello and Munro, 1997). The network approach is particularly
important in turbulent, high technology industries (Johanson and Vahlne, 1990). The definition of
network utilized in this paper, which is presented in the literature review and in the methodology
section above, is based consistently on a framework of international entrepreneurship researchers
(Anderson et al., 1994; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994; Coviello & Munro, 1997; Bell, 1995; Johanson &
Vahlne, 2003; Mattsson & Johanson, 2006), and considers that relationships develop gradually when
firms learn from interacting with each other and make a stronger commitment to the relationship
(Anderson, 1993). In other words, firms use their networks to gain access to resources, to improve their
strategic positions, to learn new skills, or to gain legitimacy (Gulati, 1995; Boari & Associates, 2004).
In this approach, networks are always analysed as a process (Coviello & Munro, 1997), because
markets are depicted as a system of relationships among a number of different players, and strategic
action is rarely limited to a single firm. Thus, the nature of interorganizational networks established
with actors in the market influences and often dictates future strategic options concerning the
internationalization process of firms (Coviello & Munro, 1997).
According to Mort & Weerawardena (2006), by operating in international networks, firms may
enjoy a “learning advantage” abroad and find it easier to go abroad than firms whose exchange partners
are domestic firms. Firms investigated in this study have shown to be successful without having a
reliable and stable domestic market. They have achieved success without gradually building an
international market. It is evident from Table 2 above that the founders’ networks were a vital enabler
of the pattern of internationalization indulged in by the majority of the firms. Many studies (Havila et
al., 2004; Rutashobya & Jaensson, 2004, Mattsson & Johanson, 2006) have shown the importance of
international networks, both on a personal level as well as on an organizational level, in understanding
a firm’s international development. However, some born global firms studied are founded without any
international network of the founder being involved (see also Rasmussen et al., 2001). To born globals,
international market entry is exploratory in nature, as they utilize their networks and contacts to spread
their products in the international market through partnerships and joint ventures. Because they lack
their own competencies and resources for international market entry, networks are vital. The firms
initially conduct their sales activities through a network, in which they seek partners that complement
their own competencies. The network perspective (Mattsson & Johanson, 2006; Ford et al., 1986;
Tikkanen, 1998) takes into account many different types of relationships that may exist between the
parties involved. By being part of a network, a firm’s internationalization process will proceed more
rapidly. It has been shown that entrepreneurs in this area have a large network (Hollensen, 2001).
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Strategic alliances, according to Todeva & Knoke (2005), can be an effective way to diffuse new
technologies rapidly, to enter a new market, to bypass governmental restrictions expeditiously, and to
learn quickly from the leading firms in a given field. It is confirmed in Table 2 above and in Todeva
and Knoke (2005) that using a well-managed strategic alliance agreement enables companies to make
gains in markets that would otherwise be uneconomical. Considerable time and energy must be put
forth by all involved in order to create a successful alliance.
To create successful export strategies, international market experience of exporters, or the lack of
it, must be considered as a starting point. The market entry costs show how both experience and firm-
level factors matter for export behaviour and export structures. Transaction or market entry costs
(Hollensen, 2001; Williams on, 1979; Donaldson & O`Toole, 2007), in this regard, consist of searching
for information about products, prices, inputs and buyers or sellers, negotiation costs, and monitoring
(or enforcement) costs. Borgersen (2006) provides a partial argument in relation to optimal industry
structure by taking into account the entry costs firms in developing countries face in international
markets. The importance of trade costs and market entry costs are of particular importance for
developing countries.
It was mentioned earlier in this paper that the emergence of a growing literature body on the non-
sequential internationalization process led to increasing criticism (Anderson and Forsgren, 2000;
Forsgren, 2002; Autio, 2003; Saarenketo, 2004) of stage models and their core assumptions, i.e. that
the process is path-dependent. Empirical findings and the review of relevant work reported in this study
support the growing relevance of non-sequential growth paths. However, this does not necessarily
contrast with some basic assumptions of Johanson & Vahlne’s (1977, 1990, 1992 & 2003) model
because, according to Figure 1, which aptly depicts the main drivers of the non-sequential
internationalization process, at least two basic outcomes of the traditional model experiential learning
(Forsgren, 2002; Johanson & Vahlne, 2003) and international networking (Mattsson & Johanson, 2006;
Mort & Weerawardena, 2006) seem to maintain a crucial validity in the non-sequential
internationalization process as well. According to Mainela (2003), a functioning network is immensely
important. Thus, if an international collaboration is to work well over a longer period of time, the
executive management of a firm must be able to develop and utilize social relationships with many
According to Boari et al (2004), the use of the network approach in explaining the
internationalization process has important implications. This paper shows that the speed of
internationalization of the firms is, among other things, a result of its development of relationships with
customer resources, which enabled the non-sequential internationalization process. In this respect,
networks can be a question of survival, particularly for small firms. This implies that personal
relationships are fundamental to a network because it is the relationships that bond the network and
give it its character. The trust created by the relationships is also important, with the network
developing as the social dimension and trust develop (Hunt & Morgan, 1994; Håkansson & Johanson,
1992; Tikkanen, 1998; Sahay, 2003; Mattsson & Johanson, 2006). Networks are value-based as they
cannot survive by themselves. Autio et al (2000) also emphasized the importance of networks and the
influence of relationships on the internationalization process, as demonstrated in the findings reported
earlier in this study. These findings are in line with what network researchers have advocated, for
example, that firms with large international social capital (Evans & Carson, 2005) learned more from
the internationalization and that this also increased their sales. Boari & Associates (2004) and
Osarenkhoe & Bennani (2007) suggest that a firm should cultivate its networks and work to gain a
good reputation, as customers are the key to learning. Similar view was expressed earlier by Sahay
(2003). Contrary to the findings presented in this study, the traditional sequential approach
(Luostarinen, 1994; Cavusgil, 1980; Bilkey & Tesar 1977; Leonidou & Katsikeas, 1996; Johanson &
Vahlne, 1977, 1990) gives the impression that the market entry decision is taken by firms acting on
their own. It also tends to recommend the following: assessment of products in the foreign markets
(choosing the target product/market), setting objectives and goals, choosing the entry mode, designing
the marketing plan, and checking for performance. These stages are iterative but clearly based on the
assumption of a firm acting independently.
As discussed earlier in this paper, firms are exposed to irrecoverable entry costs or transaction
costs in international markets (Willianson, 1979; McNaughton, 2002; Gong et al 2007). In addition to
hampering their behaviour in international markets, the market entry costs complicate export supply
responses (Borgersen, 2006). On the basis of this, it seems entry costs/transaction costs in international
markets may be an obstacle for firms with similar characteristics as the ones studied in this paper.
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
However, the magnitude of the costs of internationalization is dependent on the ability of the firms to
take advantage of the enablers of non-sequential internationalization process outlined in Figure 1 and
discussed in the previous section. For example, entrepreneurial ability and social
competence/networking may serve as tools to reduce transaction costs, thereby removing obstacles that
may hamper the speed of internationalization. Based on the preceding discussion of the salient features
of the integrated framework of the enablers of the non-sequential internationalization process (see
Figure 1) that emanated from the empirical study, it is hereby underlined that the non-sequential
internationalization pattern is a relevant phenomenon. However, even though market entry patterns of
firms investigated in this study 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.
Boari and Associates (2004) suggest the importance of enlarging the network model of
internationalization through the social capital theory (Coleman, 1990), according to the idea that firms
are embedded in social networks with other actors and that social relations shape economic action.
Boari and Associates further suggest that there is a need for a theoretical model that explicates the
influences of social capital on the firms’ foreign growth, in order to devote more attention to the social
content of relationships between partners, rather than on the structural properties of networks (Borgatti
et al., 1998). Consequently, according to Boari & Associates (2004), the use of the social capital
approach suggests that a start-up’s international growth process is contingent on the nature and
structure of its social relationships (Granovetter, 1985). Other implications of this study are that the
development of strong levels of social capital (Coleman, 1990) can become a profitable source of
competitive advantage abroad. Thus, while firm-level social capital has been increasingly studied in the
context of domestic relationships (Borgatti, 1998; Coleman, 1990; Gulati, 1995; Nahapiet & Ghoshal,
1998; Lin et al., 2001; Evans & Carson, 2005), the findings from this study and those of Boari &
Associates (2004) demonstrate the importance of its deepened application also in international settings.
It is shown in this paper that a firm that rapidly becomes international, gains an international
identity, picks up new technology, and has the potential for exponential growth. It gains access to a
larger market at an early stage and has a larger number of markets to rely on. This has an impact on the
learning of the firm in a larger perspective. It becomes easier for the firm to appropriate new
knowledge, which is important in today’s knowledge-intensive society. As mentioned earlier in this
paper, knowledge allows companies to transform business ideas to business opportunities (Bhatt,
2001). Knowledge is an enabler that allows the application of information in a useful context
(Osarenkhoe and Bennani, 2007). This is essential for any upstart in any market, including a born
global. The Internet in some sense lowers the entry barriers of a market, although an upstart may find it
difficult to overcome network externalities created by established competitors. The foundation of any
successful business rests within a company’s ability to place its trust in potential business partners
(Sahay, 2003). This is a problem for Internet-based solutions since trust is a complex process, which
demands interaction between the partners. This interaction is not easy to facilitate in an Internet-based
situation, therefore the conclusion is that Internet is an enabler of market presence and not a deciding
factor for market success. It is worthwhile for future study to critically address in a large scale study
market entry costs for firms with similar characteristics as the ones studied in this paper in order to
determine whether or not entry costs constitute an obstacle for all categories of firms as commonly
envisaged in extant literature such as Anderson and van Wincoop (2004), Borgersen (2006), Leonidou
and Katsikeas (1996).
Afua, A. (2001). Internet Business Models and Strategies, Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill.
Aharoni, Y. (1966). The Foreign Investment Decision Process, Boston, MA: Harvard University.
Anderson, O. (1993). On the Internationalization Process of Firms: A Critical Analysis, Journal of
International Business Studies, 2(4), pp. 210-231.
Anderson, U., & M. Forsgren (2000). In Search of Centers of Excellence Network embeddedness and
subsidiary role in multinational corporations, Management International Review, 40 (4), pp.
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Anderson, J.C., Håkansson, H., & J. Johanson (1994). Dyadic Business Relationships within a Business
Network Context, Journal of Marketing, 58, pp. 1-15.
Anderson, J. & van Wincoop, E. (2004). Trade Costs. Journal of Economic Literature, 42 (3), pp. 691-
Andersson, S. & Evangelista, F. (2006), The Entrepreneur in the Born Global Firm in Australia and
Sweden, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol 13, Issue 4, pp. 642 659.
Aspelund, A., Madsen, T.K., Moen, O. (2007), A Review of the Foundation, International Marketing
Strategies, and Performance of International New Ventures, European Journal of Marketing, Vol.
41, Issue 11/12, pp. 1423 1448.
Autio, E., H.J. Sapienza and J.G. Almeida (2000). Effects of Age at Entry, Knowledge Intensity,
Immitability on International Growth, Academy of Management Journal, 43, pp. 909-924.
Babichenko, J. (2006). Psychic Distance Effects for Russian Markets Estonia & Western experience,
Baltic Journal of Management, 1 (2), 213-226.
Bell, J. (1995). The Internationalization of Small Computer Software Firms. A Further Challenge to
Stage Theories, European Journal of Marketing, 29 (8), 60-75.
Bell, J., R. McNaughton & S. Young (2001). Born-Again Global Firms: An Extension of the Born
Global Phenomenon, Journal of International Management, 7 (3), 173-190.
Bennett, R. (1997). Export Marketing and the Internet: Experiences of Website Use and Perceptions
of Export Barriers among UK Business, International Marketing Review, 14 (5), 324-
Bhatt, G.D. (2001), Knowledge Management in Organisations: examining the interaction between
technologies, techniques and people, Journal of Knowledge Management, 5 (1), pp. 68-75.
Bilkey, W. & Tesar, G. (1977). The Export Behavior of Smaller-Size Wisconsin Manufacturing Firms,
Journal of International Business Studies, 8 (1), pp. 93-98.
Blomstermo, A. & D.D. Sharma. (2002). Born Globals: A Study of Learning in Networks, Uppsala,
Sweden: Uppsala University.
Boari, C., L. Fra Tocchi, & M. Monteluco de Roio (2004). The Role of Social Inter-organizational
Networks in facilitating Internationalization process. Academy of International Business 31st
Annual Conference, University of Ulster, Ireland, UK, 23-24 April 2004.
Borgatti, S.P. J. Candance and M.G. Everett (1998). Network Measures of Social Capital, Connections,
21 (2), pp. 27-36.
Borgersen, T-A (2006). When Experience Matter: The Export Performance of Developing Countries’
SMEs, Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa, 8 (1), pp. 106-118.
Brandenburger, A.M. & B.J. Nalebuff (1998). The Right Game: Use game theory to shape strategy,
Harvard Business Review, 73 (4), pp. 58-63.
Buckley, P.J., G.D. Newbould & J. Thurwell (1998). Foreign Direct Investment by Smaller UK Firms,
London: Macmillan.
Camuffo, A., Furlan, A., Romano, P. & Vinelli, A. (2007). Routes Towards Suppliers and Production
Network Internationalisation, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 27
(4), pp. 371 - 387
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
Cavusgil, S.T. (1980). On the Internationalization Process of Firms, European Research, (November),
pp. 273-281.
Cavusgil, S.T. (1994). A Quiet Revolution in Australian Exporters, Marketing News, 28 (11), pp. 18-
Chetty, S. & D. Blankenbourg Holm (2000). Internationalisation of Small to Medium-Sized
Manufacturing Firms a network approach, International Business Review, 9, pp. 77-93.
Chetty, S. & Campbell-Hunt, C. (2003). Paths to Internationalisation Among Small- to Medium-Sized
Firms: A global versus regional approach, European Journal of Marketing, 37 (5/6), pp. 796
Chistokhvalova, D. (2004), Internationalisation of New Service Companies: a case of Russian
information technology firms, Proceedings Academy of International Business conference,
University of Ulster, Ireland, April 2004.
Coase, R.H. (1939), “The Nature of the Firm”, Economica, pp. 386-405.
Coleman, J.S. (1990). Foundations of Social Theory, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Coviello, N. & H. Munro (1997). Network Relationships and the Internationalisation of Small Software
Firms, International Business Review, 6 (4), pp. 361-386.
Cyert, R.M. & J.G. March (1963). A Behavioral Theory of the Firm, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice- Hall.
Czinkota, M.R. & I. Ronkainen (1995). International Marketing, Texas: The Dreyden Press.
De la Torre, J. & R.W. Moxon (2001). E-Commerce and Global Business: The impact of the
information and communication technology revolution on the conduct of international business,
Journal of International Business Studies, 32 (4), pp. 12-25.
Donaldson, B. & T. O’Toole (2007). Strategic Market Relationships: From strategy to
implementation. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons LTD.
Dunning, J. & C. Wymbs (2001). “The Challenge of Electronic Markets for International Business
Theory” International Journal of the Economics of Business, 8 (2), pp. 123-145.
Dunning, J.H. (1980). “Toward an Eclectic Theory of International Production: Some Empirical Tests”,
Journal of International Business Studies, 11(Spring/Summer), 9-31.
Dunning, J.H. (1988), “The Ecletic Paradigm of International Production: A Restatement and Possible
Extensions”, Journal of International Business Studies, 19 (Spring), pp. 1-3.
Dunning, J.H. (2000). Regions, Globalization and the Knowledge-based Economy, Oxford, UK:
Oxford University Press.
Eisenhardt, K. (1989), “Making Fast Strategic Decisions in High Velocity Environments”, Academy of
Management Journal, 32 (3), pp. 121-142.
Elmuti, D. & Y. Kathawala (2001), “An Overview of Strategic Alliances”, Management Decision, 39
(3), pp. 205 218.
Eriksson, K., J. Johanson, A. Majkgård & D.D. Sharma (1997). “Experiential Knowledge and Cost in
the Internationalization Process”, Journal of International Business Studies, 28 (2), pp. 337-360.
Evans, R.W & C.M., Carson (2005). A social capital explanation of the relationship between
functional diversity and group performance, Team Performance Management, 11 (7/8), pp. 302
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Evans J & Bridson, K. (2005). Explaining Retail Offer Adaptation through Psychic Distance,
International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 33 (1), pp. 69 78.
Evans, J., Treadgold, A. & Mavondo, F.T. (2000), Psychic distance and the performance of
international retailers A suggested theoretical framework, International Marketing Review, 17
(4/5), pp. 373 - 391
Evans, P. & T.S. Wurster (1999). Blown To Bits: How the new economy of information transforms
strategy, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Ford, D., H. Håkansson & J. Johanson. (1986). “How Do Companies Interact?” Industrial Marketing
and Purchasing, 1 (1), pp. 26-41.
Forsgren, M. (2002). “The Concept of Learning in the Uppsala Internationalization Process Model: A
Critical Review”, International Business Review, 11 (2), pp. 257-277.
Gerlinger, J.M., P.W. Beamish & R.C. da Costa (1989), “Diversification Strategy and
Internationalization Implications for MNE Performance”, Strategic Management Journal, 10 (2),
pp. 109-119.
Gong, W., K. Parton, R.J. Cox & Z. Zhou (2007). “Transaction Costs and Cattle Farmers’ Choice of
Marketing Channels in China: A Tobit Analysis”, Management Research News, 30 (1), pp. 47-56.
Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure the problem of embeddedness,
American Journal of Sociology, 91 (3), 481-570.
Gulati, R. (1995). Social Structure and Alliance Formation Patterns A longitudinal analysis,
Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, pp. 619-652.
Hadley, R. & I.M. Heater Wilson (2003). The Network Model of Internationalisation and Experiential
Knowledge, International Business Review, 12, pp. 697-717.
Hamel, G. & C.K. Prahalad (1994). Competing for the Future, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School
Hamill, J. & K. Gregory (1998). “Internet Marketing and the Internationalisation of UK SMEs”,
Journal of Marketing Management, 14 (4), pp. 24-35.
Hansen, N.K. Gillespie & I. Genturck, (1994). SMEs and Export Involvement: Market Responsiveness,
Technology and Alliances, Journal of Global Marketing, 7 (4), pp. 7-27.
Havila, V., J. Johanson & P. Thilenius (2004). “International Business Relationship Triads”,
International Business Review, 21 (2), pp. 172-186.
Hedlund, G. & A. Kverneland (1985). “Are Strategies for Foreign Market Entry Changing? The Case
of Swedish Investment in Japan”, International Studies of Management and Organization, (15),
pp. 41-59.
Hill, C.W.L. (2003). International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace, Boston, MA:
Hoffman, D.L. & T.P. Novak (1996). “Marketing in Hypermedia Computer-Mediated Environments:
Conceptual Foundations”, Journal of Marketing, pp. 24-37.
Hofstein, W.J. (1992). “Little Companies Big Exports”, Business Week, April 13, pp.70-72.
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
Horaguchi, H. & B. Toyne (1990). “Setting the Record Straight: Hy mer, Internationalization Theory
and Transaction Cost Economics”, Journal of International Business Studies, 21 (3), pp. 487-494.
Hollensen, S. (2007). Global Marketing A Market-Responsive Approach, London: Prentice Hall.
Hunt, S.D. & R.M. Morgan (1994). “The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing”,
Journal of Marketing, (58), pp. 20-38.
Hutchinson; K., Quinn, K. & Alexander, N. (2006), SME Retailer Internationalisation a case study
evidence from British retailers, International Marketing Review, 23 (1), pp. 25 - 53
Hymer, S.H. (1976), International Operations of National Firms: A study of direct foreign investment,
unpublished 1960 PhD thesis, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Håkansson, H. & J. Johanson (1992). A Model of Industrial Networks, Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell
Johanson J. & Mattsson, L-G. (1988). Internationalization in Industrial Systems - A Network
Approach, In Hood, N. & Vahlne, J.E. (Eds.), Strategies in Global Competition, London:
Routledge, pp. 287-314.
Johanson, J. & L-G. Mattsson (1992). Network Positions and Strategic Action - An analytic
Framework, In Axelsson, B. & G. Easton, (Eds.), Industrial Networks, London: Routledge, 205-
Johanson, J. & Associates (1994). Internationalization, Relationships and Networks, Stockholm:
Almquist & Wiksell International.
Johanson, J. & J-E. Vahlne (1977). “The Internationalization Process of the Firm - A Model of
Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments”, Journal of International
Business Studies, (8), pp. 23-32.
Johanson, J. & J-E. Vahlne (2003). Business Relationships, Learning and Commitment in
Internationalization Process, Journal of Entrepreneurship, 1 (2), pp. 83-101.
Johanson, J., and Vahlne, J-E. (1990). The mechanism of internationalisation, International Business
Review, 7(4), pp.11-24.
Johanson, J. & L-E. Vahlne (1993). Management of Internationalization, In Zan, L., S. Zambon &
A.M. Pettigrew (Eds.), Perspectives of Strategic Change, Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Johanson, J. and Wiedersheim-Paul, F. (1975), The internationalisation of the firm Four
Swedish cases, Journal of Management Studies, 3 (October), pp. 305-322.
Johnsen, R.E. (2007), The Role of Focal Supplier in Strategic Networks for Small and Medium sized
Italian and Thai silk suppliers Firms, Journal of Fashion Marketing Management, 11 (1), pp. 135-
Jolly, V.K., M. Alahuta & J-P. Jeannet (1992). Challenging the Incumbents How high technology
start-ups compete globally, Journal of Strategic Change, 1, pp. 71-82.
Keeble, D., C. Lawson, H. Smith, B. Moore and F. Wilkison (1998). Internationalisation Process,
Networking and local embeddedness in technology-intensive small firms, Small Business
Economics, 11 (4), 327-342.
Kindleberger, C.P. (1969), American Business Abroad, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Knight, G.A & T. Cavusgil. (1996). “The Born Global Firm: A Challenge to Traditional
Internationalization Theory”, Advances in International Marketing, (8), pp. 11-26.
Knudsen, T.T, K. Madsen, E.S. Rasmussen & P. Servais (2002). International Market Strategies in
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, In T.T. Knudsen, S. Askegaard & N. Jorgensen (Eds),
Perspectives on Marketing Relatioships, Copenhagen: Thomson, pp. 107-124.
Kobrin, S. (1991). “An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Global Integration”, Strategic
Management Journal, 12 (17), pp. 24-43.
Kozinets, R.V. (1999). “E-Tribalised Marketing: The Strategic Implications”, European Management
Journal, 7 (3), pp. 252-264.
Leonidou, S.C. & Katsikeas, C.S. (1996). The Export Development Process An integrative review of
empirical models, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. pp. 517-551.
Li, F., Papagiannidis, S., Barlow, A. & Duncan, P. (2007), New Frontiers in e-Business and e-
Government, International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management, Vol.
2, Issue 1, pp. 1-3.
Lin, N., K. Cook and R. Burt (2001). Social Capital, New York: Walter de Gruyter.
Lindqvist, M. (1991). Infant Multinationals: The Internationalization of Young, Technology-based
Swedish Firms. Stockholm: Stockholm University.
Luostarinen, R. (1994). Internationalization of Finnish Firms and their Responses to Global Challenges,
UNU/WIDER Publications (December), ISBN 952-9520-20-4.
Maleksadeh, A. & A. Nahavandi (1985). Small Business Exporting Misconceptions are Abundant,
American Journal of Small Business, 9 (4), pp. 7-14.
Madsen, T.K. & P. Servais (1997). “The Internationalization of Born Globals: An Evolutionary
Process? International Business Review, 6 (6), pp. 561-583.
Mainela, T. (2003). Social Relationships in Organizing of an International Joint Venture in Transition
Markets Two cases of Finnish-Polish joint venture in 1990s Poland, Vaasa, Finland: University
of Vaasa. Doctoral dis sertation.
McNaughton, R.B. & J. Bell (2001). Competing From the Periphery- Export development through hard
business network programmes, Irish Marketing Review, 14 (1), pp. 43-54.
Mattsson, L-G. & J. Johanson (2006). “Discovering Market Networks”, European Journal of
Marketing, 40 (3/4), pp. 259-74.
McDougall, P.P., S. Shane & B.M. Oviatt (1994). “Explaining the Formation of International New
Ventures: The Limits of Theories From Business Research”, Journal of Business Venturing, 9 (6),
pp. 469- 487.
McNaughton, R.B. (2002). The Use of Multiple Exporting Channels by Small Knowledge-Intensive
Firms, International Business Review, 19 (2), pp. 190-203.
Melin, L. (1997). Internationalization as a Strategy Process, In Vernon-Wortzel, H. & L.H. Wortzel
(Eds.), Strategic Management in a Global Economy, New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Moen, Ø, (2002). The Born Globals: A New Generation of Small European Exporters“,
International Marketing Review; 19 (2), pp. 156-175.
Int. Journal of Business Science and Applied Management /
Mort, G.S. & J. Weerawardena. (2006). “Networking Capability and International Entrepreneurship:
How Networks Function in Australian Born Global Firms”, International Business Review, 23 (5),
pp. 549-572.
Nahapiet, J. S. Ghoshal (1998). Social Capital, Intellectual Capital and the Organizational Advantage,
Academy of Management Review, 23, pp. 242-266.
Nordström, K.A. (1991). The Internationalization Process of the Firm, Doctoral dissertation,
Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm School of Economics.
Nummela, N. (2004). “Global Mindset: A Prerequisite for Successful International?” Canadian Journal
of Administrative Sciences, 21(1), pp. 51-64.
Ohmae, K. (1990). The Borderless World, New York: Harper.
Osarenkhoe, A., Bennani, A-Z., and Lhajji, D. (2006), “A Study of the Prerequisites for Successful
Deployment and Governance of Implementation Process of Technological Innovations” Asian
Journal of Information Technology, 6 (1), pp. 1-20.
Osarenkhoe, A. & Bennani, A-Z (2007), “An Exploratory Study of Implementation of Customer
Relationship Projects”. Business Process Management Journal, Volume 13 (1), pp. 149-164.
Otlacan, E. & Otlacan, R-P. (2006). Informational Topology and Globalisation Process, Kybernetes, 35
(7/8), pp. 1203-1209.
Penrose, E. (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm, Oxford: Oxford University.
Pitelis, C.N. Pseiridis, A.N. (1999). Transaction costs versus resource value? Journal of Economic
Studies, 26 (3), pp. 221 - 240
Prahalad, C.K & Hamel, G. (1990). The Core Competence of the Corporation, Boston, MA: Harvard
Business School Press.
Preece, S.B., G. Miles & M.C. Baetz (1988). “Explaining the International Intensity and Global
Diversity of Early-Stage Technology-Based Firms”, Journal of Business Venturing, 14 (1), pp.
Quelch, J.A. & L. Klein (1996). “The Internet and International Marketing”, Sloan Management
Review, (Spring), pp. 60-75.
Quinn, J.B. (1992). “The Intelligent Enterprise: a new paradigm”, Academy of Management Executive,
Vol.6, No 4, pp. 45-61.
Oviatt B. & P.P. McDougall (1994). “Toward a theory of international New Ventures”, Journal of
International Business Studies, 25 (1), pp. 45-64.
Rasmussen, E.S., T.K. Madsen & F. Evangelista (2001). The Founding of Born Global Company in
Denmark and Australia: Sensemaking and Networking, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and
Logistics, 13 (3), pp. 75-107.
Rutashobya, L. & J-E. Jaensson (2004). “Small firms' internationalization for development in Tanzania:
Exploring the network phenomenon, International Journal of Social Economics, 31 (1/2), pp. 159-
Ruzzier, M., R.D. Hisrich & B. Antoncic (2006). “SME Internationalization Research: Past, Present
and Future”, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13 (4), pp. 476-497.
Aihie Osarenkhoe
Saarenketo, S., O. Kuivalainen, K. Puumalainen & K. Kyläheiko (2004). “Dynamic Knowledge-
Related Learning Processes In Internationalizing High Tech SMEs”, International Journal of
Production Economics, 89 (3), pp. 363-378.
Sahay, B.S. (2003), “Understanding trust in supply chain relationships”, Industrial Management &
Data Systems, 103 (8), pp. 553-563.
Servais, P. & Rasmussen, E.S. (2004). The Rise and Fall of International Ventures, Academy of
International Business 31st Annual Conference, University of Ulster, Ireland, UK, 23-24 April
Sterne, J. (1995). World Wide Web Marketing: Integrating the Internet into Your Marketing Strategy,
New York: John Wiley.
Sylvie K. Chetty (1999). Dimensions of Internationalisation of Manufacturing Firms in the Apparel
Industry, European Journal of Marketing, 33 (1/2), pp. 121 142.
Tikkanen, H. (1998). “The Network Approach in Analyzing International Marketing and Purchasing
Operations: A Case Study of a European SME’s Focal Net 1992-95”, Journal of Business &
Industrial Marketing, 13 (2), pp. 109-131.
Todeva, E. & D. Knoke (2005). “Strategic Alliances and Models of Collaborating”, Management
Decision, 43 (1), pp. 123 - 148
Welch, L. & R. Luostarinen (1988). “Internationalization: Evolution of a Concept”, Journal of General
Management, 14 (2), pp. 34-64.
Wild, J.J., K.L. Wild & J.C.Y. Han (2003). International Business; An integrated approach, New
York: Prentice Hall.
Williams on, O. (1985). The Economic Institutions of Capitalism, New York: The Free Press
Williams on, O. (1979). “Transaction Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractual Relations”,
Journal of Law and Economics, 22 (October), pp. 233-262.
Zaheer, S. & Manrakhan, (2001). Concentration and Dispersion in Global Industries: remote electronic
access and the location of economic activities, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 32,
no. 4, pp. 134-145.
Zucchella, A. (2004). Non-sequential Internationalization Processes between Competition and
Cooperation a tentative re-conciliation of alternative approaches, Academy of International
Business 31st Annual Conference, University of Ulster, Ireland, UK, 23-24 April 2004.