The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad
Chapter 6: Internationalization facilitated by Estonian roots and Swedish knowledge: sixteen cases
Several authors (e.g., Johanson and Mattsson 1988; Johanson and Vahlne 2003; and Coviello and Munro 1995) have demonstrated that firms need foreign market knowledge and strong ties with customers and suppliers during internationalization. This can be accomplished in several ways, such as by creating strategic alliances with local firms (Etemad 2005), involving foreign investors, taking over other enterprises and visiting international trade fairs; but it is also possible to involve the people who already have all the necessary information and contacts, as they live in the potential foreign market or have close network ties there. According to Riddle (2008), about 150 million people are migrants, and they form one-tenth of developed countries’ populations. Still, compared to other ways of advancing internationalization, the role of migrants has received relatively little research attention, especially in Central and Eastern Europe. Studying their contribution is also important for entrepreneurship studies. Yeung (2009) and Drori et al. (2009) have stated that international entrepreneurship studies have paid relatively little attention to entrepreneurs moving across borders or being active in two countries simultaneously. According to Clydesdale (2008), it is important to study whether or not being an immigrant helps in doing international business, while Assudani (2009) has stated that the constraining role of ethnic entrepreneurs’ ties has not been sufficiently studied.
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