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Multinational Enterprises from Small Economies: The Internationalization Pattern of Large Companies from Denmark, Finland and Norway


  • Benito, Gabriel R.G.

    (Norwegian School of Management BI)

  • Larimo, Jorma

    (University of Vaasa)

  • Narula, Rajneesh

    (University of Oslo)

  • Pedersen, Torben

    (Department of International Economics and Management, Copenhagen Business School)


Analyzing the internationalization of large companies from small countries requires understanding the process of internationalization by examining push-pull forces associated with the interface between micro and macro level factors. We examine the growth and international expansion of the ten largest companies in Denmark, Finland, and Norway over the period 1990 to 1999. Most companies in the sample became more international during the last decade across basically all the investigated dimensions of internationalization. This was particularly accentuated in the case of Norwegian firms, possibly due to their lower degree of internationalization at the beginning of the period. The study also shows that companies increasingly internationalized even such strategic activities as research and development activities, and headquarters functions.

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  • Benito, Gabriel R.G. & Larimo, Jorma & Narula, Rajneesh & Pedersen, Torben, 2001. "Multinational Enterprises from Small Economies: The Internationalization Pattern of Large Companies from Denmark, Finland and Norway," Working Papers 13-2001, Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:cbsint:2001-013

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    Cited by:

    1. Boehe, Dirk Michael, 2011. "Exploiting the liability of foreignness: Why do service firms exploit foreign affiliate networks at home?," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 15-29, March.
    2. Gabriel R. G. Benito & Rajneesh Narula, 2007. "States and Firms on the Periphery: The Challenges of a Globalizing World," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Gabriel R. G. Benito & Rajneesh Narula (ed.), Multinationals on the Periphery, chapter 1, pages 1-24, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Alfaro, Martín, 2020. "Market structures in small open economies: Evidence from Denmark," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(4), pages 363-378.
    4. Herstad, Sverre J., 2015. "Imitate, or innovate and collaborate? On innovation strategy choices in the urban economy," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research.
    5. Quintás, Mari­a A. & Vázquez, Xosé H. & Garci­a, José M. & Caballero, Gloria, 2008. "Geographical amplitude in the international generation of technology: Present situation and business determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1371-1381, September.
    6. Grøgaard, Birgitte, 2012. "Alignment of strategy and structure in international firms: An empirical examination," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 397-407.
    7. Herstad, Sverre J. & Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Ebersberger, Bernd, 2014. "On industrial knowledge bases, commercial opportunities and global innovation network linkages," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 495-504.
    8. Wang, Yi & Larimo, Jorma, 2020. "Survival of full versus partial acquisitions: The moderating role of firm’s internationalization experience, cultural distance, and host country context characteristics," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1).
    9. Mats Forsgren, 2016. "A note on the revisited Uppsala internationalization process model – the implications of business networks and entrepreneurship," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 47(9), pages 1135-1144, December.
    10. Sverre Herstad & Øyvind Pålshaugen & Bernd Ebersberger, 2011. "Industrial Innovation Collaboration in a Capital Region Context," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 2(4), pages 507-532, December.

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