Internationalization, Entrepreneurship and the Smaller Firm

Internationalization, Entrepreneurship and the Smaller Firm

Evidence from Around the World

Edited by Marian V. Jones, Pavlos Dimitratos, Margaret Fletcher and Stephen Young

This forward-looking volume contains state-of-the-art analysis of the current research themes and challenges influencing the internationalization of SMEs.

Chapter 4: Growth and Learning Spillovers from International Markets: Empirical Evidence from Greek Firms

Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki and Ioanna Deligianni

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, international business


Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki and Ioanna Deligianni SUMMARY This chapter seeks to investigate whether there is any transfer of knowledge and best practices from international to domestic business activities; and if so, in what aspects of the firm’s activities. It also seeks to examine the moderating effect that age at international entry and the firm’s entrepreneurial orientation have on this international knowledge transfer to the firm’s domestic activities. Such questions are essentially unexplored in international business literature, which tends to view the international growth activities of the firm as rather separate from those of the domestic market. Two in-depth case studies of Greek internationalized firms took place. One of those firms was an incremental internationalizer and the other a ‘born global’ firm. The evidence suggests that firms that grow abroad may transfer knowledge and skills from international to domestic operations in terms of redefining their target markets, introducing new products and redesigning their logos irrespective of their age at international entry or their entrepreneurial orientation. Therefore, growth of the internationalized firm can significantly affect that of the domestic market, and hence a comprehensive examination of the firm’s growth is warranted. INTRODUCTION The international business literature has approached growth as strictly an internationalization phenomenon. The stages theory (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977, 1990) would argue that the firm grows abroad after having gained momentum and experience in the domestic market, 37 38 Internationalization, entrepreneurship and the smaller firm describing internationalization as the firm’s reactive response to external pressures. On the other hand, the born...

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