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A holistic approach to internationalisation

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  • Fletcher, Richard
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    Abstract

    Previous research into internationalisation has viewed it as being an export-led phenomenon. Although this is a phenomenon that extends to other activities such as licensing and manufacture overseas, it is usually considered from an 'outward' perspective. In this paper it is argued that internationalisation is no longer just an outward-driven activity and that firms also become internationalised by undertaking import-led activities and activities in which 'inward' and 'outward' activities are 'linked', as happens with strategic alliances, cooperative manufacture and countertrade. The paper demonstrates that a majority of firms engage in 'inward' and 'linked' international activities as well as 'outward' activities. It also illustrates that the factors that predict outward internationalisation also predict 'inward' and, to a lesser extent, 'linked' internationalisation. The paper questions the traditional view that internationalisation should be progressive and incremental and explores the issue of de-internationalisation and its role in the long-term internationalisation of the firm. The implications of the above conceptual approach to internationalisation are discussed briefly and illustrated in the case of government programs of export assistance, born global firms, firms operating on a global basis and firms undertaking international business in the electronic environment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 25-49

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:10:y:2001:i:1:p:25-49

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    Related research

    Keywords: Internationalisation De-internationalisation Export Import Strategic alliances and countertrade;

    References

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    1. Warren J Bilkey, 1978. "An Attempted Integration of the Literature on the Export Behavior of Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 9(1), pages 33-46, March.
    2. Reid, Stan, 1984. "Information acquisition and export entry decisions in small firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 141-157, June.
    3. O'Farrell, Patrick N. & Wood, Peter A., 1994. "International market selection by business service firms: Key conceptual and methodological issues," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 243-261, September.
    4. Philip J Rosson & I David Ford, 1982. "Manufacturer-Overseas Distributor Relations and export Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 13(2), pages 57-72, June.
    5. Stan D Reid, 1981. "The Decision-Maker and Export Entry and Expansion," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 12(2), pages 101-112, June.
    6. Daniel C Bello & Nicholas C Williamson, 1985. "Contractual Arrangement and Marketing Practices in the Indirect Export Channel," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 16(2), pages 65-82, June.
    7. Cavusgil, S. Tamer & Naor, Jacob, 1987. "Firm and management characteristics as discriminators of export marketing activity," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 221-235, June.
    8. Claude L Simpson & Duane Kujawa, 1974. "The Export Decision Process: An Empirical Inquiry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 5(1), pages 107-117, March.
    9. Warren J Bilkey & George Tesar, 1977. "The Export Behavior of Smaller-Sized Wisconsin Manufacturing Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 93-98, March.
    10. Kumcu, Erdogan & Harcar, Talha & Kumcu, M. Ercan, 1995. "Managerial perceptions of the adequacy of export incentive programs : Implications for export-led economic development policy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 163-174, February.
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