Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Mika Gabrielsson and V. H. Manek Kirpalani
Chapter 7: Born Globals: Research Areas that Still Need to be Covered More Fully
V.H. Manek Kirpalani and Mika Gabrielsson INTRODUCTION Born globals (BGs) are a unique breed of international entrepreneurial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BGs are obviously, and historically, a relatively new phenomenon. They are very different from the traditional SME, in their roots, choice of foreign markets to enter, and growth processes. The BG is formed by entrepreneurs who have creative and or technological knowledge of a high order. The SME is formed by entrepreneurs who do not necessarily need any particular knowledge of a high order. BG growth is very rapid and thus the growth process it follows may well involve finding large channels, large partner MNEs, or other networks/alliances. The BG from inception, or soon after, looks at a global market. The SME grows domestically and then looks at markets abroad. For the SMEs, in most cases, the markets abroad are neighboring countries, and the process of entry is dominated by the concepts of physical distance and/or short business distance. The SME growth process is more often than not a stage pattern of growth where the firm proceeds from an export stage, to sales organizations, and later, possibly, to manufacture abroad. Thus, research that would be relevant and useful to BGs has to be different. Furthermore, it must be recognized that the BG targets a global market but there could be a number of small firms that are BGs in approach but target only the regional market. In addition, some SMEs are born-again globals (BaGs), which have been defined...
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