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'Born-again global' firms: An extension to the 'born global' phenomenon

  • Bell, Jim
  • McNaughton, Rod
  • Young, Stephen
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    Firm internationalisation has for long been regarded as an incremental process, wherein firms gravitate towards 'psychologically close' markets and increase commitment to international markets in a gradual, stepwise manner through a series of evolutionary 'stages.' However, much of the recent literature provides clear evidence of rapid and dedicated internationalisation by 'born global' firms. Typically, these are smaller entrepreneurial firms that internationalise from inception or begin shortly thereafter. Their main source of competitive advantage is often related to a more sophisticated knowledge base that they use to exploit the dynamics of an increasingly global market environment. This contribution posits that there is growing evidence of another phenomenon, that of the emergence of 'born-again' global firms. These are firms that have been well established in their domestic markets, with apparently no great motivation to internationalise, but which have suddenly embraced rapid and dedicated internationalisation. The underlying motivations and triggers leading to such a strategy are explored and illustrated through a number of case studies. Research and public policy implications of the 'born-again' global phenomenon are discussed.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 173-189

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:7:y:2001:i:3:p:173-189
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    1. Fletcher, Richard, 2001. "A holistic approach to internationalisation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 25-49, February.
    2. Boter, Hakan & Holmquist, Carin, 1996. "Industry characteristics and internationalization processes in small firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 471-487, November.
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    4. M Krishna Erramilli, 1991. "The Experience Factor in Foreign Market Entry Behavior of Service Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(3), pages 479-501, September.
    5. Phillips McDougall, Patricia & Shane, Scott & Oviatt, Benjamin M., 1994. "Explaining the formation of international new ventures: The limits of theories from international business research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 469-487, November.
    6. Madsen, Tage Koed & Servais, Per, 1997. "The internationalization of Born Globals: An evolutionary process?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 561-583, December.
    7. Leonidas C Leonidou & Constatine S Katsikeas, 1996. "The Export Development Process: An Integrative Review of Empirical Models," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(3), pages 517-551, September.
    8. Coviello, Nicole & Munro, Hugh, 1997. "Network relationships and the internationalisation process of small software firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 361-386, August.
    9. Otto Andersen, 1993. "On the Internationalization Process of Firms: A Critical Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(2), pages 209-231, June.
    10. Benjamin M Oviatt & Patricia Phillips McDougall, 1994. "Toward a Theory of International New ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(1), pages 45-64, March.
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