The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Marian V. Jones and Pavlos Dimitratos
Chapter 11: Returning to the Field in Internationalization: An Exploratory Study of Contemporary Small Firms in the Advanced Medical Products Industry
11. Returning to the ﬁeld in internationalization: an exploratory study of contemporary small ﬁrms in the advanced medical products industry Thandiwe Phiri, Marian V. Jones and Colin Wheeler INTRODUCTION It is generally held that four main groups of theoretical explanation are relevant to the study of internationalization. These are, in parsimonious categorizations, the internalization or transaction cost approach, the internationalization or network approach, the export development approach, and the resource-based view. Coviello and McAuley (1999) indicated that the internationalization of the small ﬁrm is inadequately explained by any of these approaches individually. Research on Born Globals or international new ventures which focuses on the early stages of internationalization in young ﬁrms has been particularly critical of the inadequacy of conventional theoretical approaches to explain rapid or immediate internationalization in the face of sometimes considerable resource challenges. This has led to an increased interest in the entrepreneur as a driver of internationalization, and also to a number of calls in the literature for new theories, or for a useful integration of key concepts from traditional theories. To that end, the imperatives are: to return to the theories and re-examine their constructs, logic and implications; and to return to the ﬁeld and re-examine internationalization as it occurs in ﬁrms, and as experienced by entrepreneurs or managers in a contemporary context. This chapter concentrates on the latter and reports the ﬁndings from an exploratory empirical study of small ﬁrms in the advanced medical products industry in central Scotland at the turn of the...
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