The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad
Chapter 1: Introduction and overview
The overall theme of this volume is emergence: the emergence of international entrepreneurship (IE), the emergence of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the emergence of smaller firms from emerging economies in international markets. This introductory chapter begins with a review of international entrepreneurship’s emergence and proceeds to examining the factors that have influenced the emergence of smaller firms and those from the emerging markets in particular. I suggest that evolutionary change has been highly influential in stimulating the internationalization of smaller firm and markets and propose a theory to characterize these developments. I refer to this theory as the contextual theory of international entrepreneurship, which suggests a dynamic, interactive and evolutionary relationship amongst the three main pillars (or components) of the theory. This theory suggests that the process of evolutionary change in industrialized countries and emerging economies (formerly developing and transitional economies), affected by massive technological innovation, if not revolution, have removed historical barriers to trade investment resulting in increased mobility of goods, services, capital and establishments, which have augmented firms’ competitiveness across the board and provided increasing levels of information to buyers and suppliers.