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Problemistic search and international entrepreneurship

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  • Wennberg, Karl
  • Holmquist, Carin

Abstract

Summary This paper explains the internationalization process of small firms using the theory of performance relative to aspiration levels. The study complements prior theory by explaining why and how small firms are triggered to engage in internationalization despite not reaching maturity in their home market. We outline a model where firms' internationalization is triggered by problemistic search, following periods of below-aspiration performance. The model is tested on 860 Swedish firms followed during an economic downturn. Results indicate that internationalization activities follow a bounded rational process characterized by search behavior which is triggered by performance feedback. The study complements prior theories of internationalization and offers a first empirical demonstration of the viability of aspiration-level performance theory in international entrepreneurship research.

Suggested Citation

  • Wennberg, Karl & Holmquist, Carin, 2008. "Problemistic search and international entrepreneurship," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 441-454, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eurman:v:26:y:2008:i:6:p:441-454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belderbos, Rene & Carree, Martin & Lokshin, Boris, 2004. "Cooperative R&D and firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1477-1492.
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    7. David J. Teece, 1980. "The Diffusion of an Administrative Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 464-470.
    8. Belderbos, Rene & Carree, Martin & Lokshin, Boris, 2004. "Cooperative R&D and firm performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 1477-1492.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jones, Marian V. & Coviello, Nicole & Tang, Yee Kwan, 2011. "International Entrepreneurship research (1989–2009): A domain ontology and thematic analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 632-659.
    2. Michele Bernini & Jun Du & James H. Love, 2016. "Explaining intermittent exporting: Exit and conditional re-entry in export markets," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(9), pages 1058-1076, December.
    3. Indujeeva Peiris & Michèle Akoorie & Paresha Sinha, 2012. "International entrepreneurship: A critical analysis of studies in the past two decades and future directions for research," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 279-324, December.
    4. repec:spr:joevec:v:27:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00191-016-0489-x is not listed on IDEAS

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