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The internationalization of firms in the service industries: channels, determinants and sectoral patterns


  • Castellacci, Fulvio


The paper presents the results of a new survey on the international activities of Norwegian enterprises in the service industries. The survey focuses on three main internationalization channels: international sales, international cooperation and R&D outsourcing. The empirical analysis studies the relevance of these channels, and investigates the related strategies, objectives and determinants. International sales and collaborations emerge as the two most relevant channels, whereas the scope for R&D outsourcing seems to be far more limited. The analysis of the determinants of international activities leads to three main results: (1) the innovative capability of firms matters for their international performance; (2) the various internationalization channels seem to be complement, rather than substitute, strategies to compete in foreign markets; (3) sectoral specificities greatly affect firms’ internationalization strategies and performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Castellacci, Fulvio, 2010. "The internationalization of firms in the service industries: channels, determinants and sectoral patterns," MPRA Paper 26548, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:26548

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
    2. Bernard Hoekman & Carlos Braga, 1997. "Protection and Trade in Services: A Survey," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 285-308, July.
    3. Castellacci, Fulvio, 2008. "Technological paradigms, regimes and trajectories: Manufacturing and service industries in a new taxonomy of sectoral patterns of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 978-994, July.
    4. Rajneesh Narula & Antonello Zanfei, 2003. "Globalisation of Innovation The Role of Multinational Enterprises," DRUID Working Papers 03-15, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Fulvio Castellacci, 2008. "Innovation in Norway in a European Perspective," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 34, pages 1-1.
    6. Rinaldo Evangelista, 2000. "Sectoral Patterns Of Technological Change In Services," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 183-222.
    7. Archibugi, Daniele & Michie, Jonathan, 1995. "The Globalisation of Technology: A New Taxonomy," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 121-140, February.
    8. Drejer, Ina, 2004. "Identifying innovation in surveys of services: a Schumpeterian perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 551-562, April.
    9. Castellacci, Fulvio, 2008. "Innovation and the competitiveness of industries: comparing the mainstream and the evolutionary approaches," MPRA Paper 27523, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 134-161, February.
    11. Archibugi, Daniele & Iammarino, Simona, 1999. "The policy implications of the globalisation of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2-3), pages 317-336, March.
    12. Carlsson, Bo, 2006. "Internationalization of innovation systems: A survey of the literature," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 56-67, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gehringer, Agnieszka, 2016. "Knowledge externalities and sectoral interdependences: Evidence from an open economy perspective," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 240-249.
    2. López, Andrés & Niembro, Andrés & Ramos, Daniela, 2014. "Latin America’s competitive position in knowledge-intensive services trade," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
    3. Arvanitis, Spyros & Hollenstein, Heinz & Stucki, Tobias, 2016. "Does the explanatory power of the OLI approach differ among sectors and business functions? Evidence from firm-level data," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-46.
    4. Pietrasieñski Pawe³ & Œlusarczyk Beata, 2015. "Internationalization Of Small And Medium Enterprises – Empirical Research Review On Barriers To Entry Into Foreign Markets," Polish Journal of Management Studies, Czestochowa Technical University, Department of Management, vol. 11(1), pages 113-123, June.
    5. Sdiri, Hanen & Ayadi, Mohamed, 2011. "Rôle de l'internationalisation des entreprises tunisiennes de service dans la promotion de l'innovation
      [Role of the Tunisian service firms internationalization in promoting innovation]
      ," MPRA Paper 34036, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Spyros Arvanitis & Heinz Hollenstein & Tobias Stucki, 2013. "Determinants of Internationalisation - Do they Differ among Sectors and Business Functions?," KOF Working papers 13-348, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

    More about this item


    internationalization; international cooperations; R&D outsourcing; innovation; service industries; survey data;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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