Elgar original reference
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana
Not long ago, international business was predominantly the domain of large ﬁrms, with smaller ﬁrms tending to remain local or regional; internationalization was an expansion option of interest to some enterprises, but seldom was it a competitive necessity. Many owner–managers opted to avoid the uncertainties of competing in foreign markets, and simply kept their ﬁrms small and local. Traditional internationalization theories, therefore, focused mainly on large multinational corporations, and were less pertinent to entrepreneurs and their smaller ﬁrms. Large multinational corporations were the primary unit of interest in international business studies, and international business journals rightly focused on research about multinational corporations. Meanwhile, other journals focused on entrepreneurs and their relatively small enterprises. Entrepreneurship studies tended to examine decision makers in one environment – a domestic setting for mainstream entrepreneurs or a host society for immigrants; entrepreneurial behaviour was often explained as a function of the entrepreneur’s personality, rather than as a function of the environment. Nowadays, technology facilitates internationalization. International business includes the activities of smaller-scale entrepreneurs, and this is not limited to exporting. While there are opportunities for entrepreneurs who internationalize, serious threats face those who ignore the international arena: with the liberalization of trade and improved telecommunications, international competitors threaten domestic ﬁrms in formerly protected markets. Globalization is thus transforming the competitive environment of small and large players alike. As a result, internationalization issues will continue to be increasingly important to business. There is a growing need to understand internationalization in the context of entrepreneurship, as well...