Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 8: Internationalization: Motive and Process

A. Bakr Ibrahim


A. Bakr Ibrahim The recent growth of international business activities by entrepreneurial firms has been phenomenal. The early internationalization of relatively new entrepreneurial ventures has received considerable attention in the literature (Zahra et al., 2000; McDougall and Oviatt, 2000; Hitt et al., 2001; Ibrahim and McGuire, 2001). Indeed international activity is a key element of entrepreneurship. Research studies suggest that, as part of the entrepreneurial process, most entrepreneurs perceive international opportunities from the first day they start their business (Zacharakis, 1997; Oviatt and McDougall, 1994). The entrepreneurial process includes identifying and assessing the opportunity and marshalling the resources to exploit it (Ibrahim and Ellis, 2002). In other words, entrepreneurs are opportunity-driven regardless of the location – be it domestic or international opportunity. Entrepreneurs’ personality traits and backgrounds drive them to scan the environment (local or international) looking for market opportunities. McDougall and Oviatt (2000) define international entrepreneurship as ‘the combination of innovative, proactive, and risk-seeking behavior that crosses national borders and is intended to create value in organizations’. Despite the growing interest of international entrepreneurship, most research studies in international business tend to focus on large multinational enterprises (MNEs) as the traditional unit of analysis (Brush, 1995; Coviello and McAuley, 1999; Oviatt and McDougall, 2000; Ibrahim and McGuire, 2001). While the theoretical contributions offered in the international literature have added much to our understanding of the internationalization motive and process in the context of large organizations, most of these frameworks have proved to be too limited to explain the...

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