Internationalization, Entrepreneurship and the Smaller Firm
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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.
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Chapter 13: International New Ventures: A New Organizational Form?

Rod B. McNaughton


Rod B. McNaughton SUMMARY The chapter presents an argument for refocusing the study of international new ventures on the question of whether they represent a unique organizational form. Oviatt and McDougall’s original description of the phenomenon raised this important question, but subsequent empirical studies have yet to provide an answer. The uniqueness of INVs is important to define the phenomenon, and legitimize international entrepreneurship as a distinct area of scholarship. Viewing INVs from the perspective of organizational form suggests new theoretical perspectives, research questions and methods. Thus the empirical literature on organizational form focuses upon decision rights, and tracks measures such as organizational members, channels for information and control, governance and agency. Introducing such measures may provide new and interesting ways of characterizing INVs as compared with the extant literature, and promote comparative research with other types of organization. INTRODUCTION International Entrepreneurship emerged as a new field of study in the early 1990s. The majority of researchers argue that this area of study lies in the intersection between the disciplines of entrepreneurship and international business (IB). However, the core theories of neither discipline provide a strong explanation of the phenomenon of ‘international new ventures’ (INVs). Entrepreneurship theories generally argue that new firm formation is a locally embedded process, while IB theories do not posit a role for smaller and inexperienced firms in international markets. Since McDougall, Shane and Oviatt (1994) reviewed the core theories of international business and found them lacking as an explanation of INVs, no unifying theory has...

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