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Chapter 18: Successful Born Globals Without Experiential Market Knowledge: Survey Evidence from China
Tiia Vissak, Xiaotian Zhang and Kadri Ukrainski* INTRODUCTION Internationalization processes have received considerable research attention for the last five decades. As a result, many approaches have emerged. Some of them – such as the Uppsala model and the innovation-related internationalization models – have demonstrated the importance of (experiential) knowledge. These models stated that the lack of experiential knowledge may force firms to internationalize slowly by using simple foreign operation modes – such as indirect exporting – and entering culturally and geographically closest countries first. Firms were able to enter other countries and use other modes only after acquiring the necessary knowledge. Some other research streams – including the network approach to internationalization and the studies on born globals, international new ventures, and other fast internationalizers – have shown that knowledge can be acquired by several other means besides experience. As a result, some firms may use more advanced entry modes and enter far markets – even other continents – soon after establishment. Unfortunately, the current literature has paid little attention to the knowledge acquisition of born globals and its impact on their internationalization. Several authors (for example, Mitra and Golder 2002; Morgan et al. 2003; Bengtsson 2004; Ling-yee 2004; Pedersen and Petersen 2004; Saarenketo et al. 2004; Weerawardena et al. 2007; Brennan and Garvey 2009; Casillas et al. 2009; Freeman et al. 2010; Zou and Ghauri 2010) have emphasized the importance of this issue. China is an especially interesting country for studying this subject: after the period of reforms and opening up – private enterprises were allowed in China...
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