Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship

Towards a Theory of Internationalization

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten

This unique Handbook illustrates how entrepreneurs across Europe tackle internationalization. This timely and important book identifies patterns and builds a theory of international entrepreneurship in Europe.
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Chapter 20: Israeli, Born Global, Knowledge-intensive Firms: An Empirical Inquiry

Tamar Almor and Gilad Sperling


20 Israeli, born global, knowledge-intensive firms: an empirical inquiry Tamar Almor and Gilad Sperling As stated by Dana, Etemad and Wright: ‘A research sub-discipline is emerging, fusing elements of what formerly has been considered international business with what used to be small business/entrepreneurship’ (1999, p. 4). This sub-discipline is the result of changes in the international behaviour of small and medium-sized firms as well as of entrepreneurial firms. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been playing a progressively important role in international business since the beginning of the 1990s (Bell, 1995; Keeble et al., 1997; McNaughton, 2000; Oviatt and McDougall, 1994; Wright, 1999). The emergence of smaller firms that are able to operate internationally is reported with increasing frequency all over the world (Almor, 2000; Gabrielsson and Kirpalani, 2004; Knight and Cavusgil, 2004; Luostarinen and Gabrielsson, 2004; Oviatt and McDougall, 1994; Rennie, 1993). By the late 1990s, about a quarter of SMEs around the world derived a major portion of their revenues from foreign countries. While these businesses first emerged from countries with small domestic markets, their existence is now also reported in other countries (Knight and Cavusgil, 2004; Moen and Servais, 2002; Rennie, 1993). Born global firms aim at the global market right from birth (Rasmussan, Madsen and Evengelista, 2001) and start their globalization at once, without any preceding domestic operations, simultaneously with domestic business or, exceptionally, soon after domestic operations (Luostarinen and Gabrielsson, 2001). The international growth and performance of these relatively small firms remain paradoxical, as it...

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