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Chapter 6: An Inquiry into Born Global Firm’s Learning Process: A Case Study of Information Technology-based SMEs
6 An inquiry into born global firms’ learning process: a case study of information technology-based SMEs Alex Rialp, Inmaculada Galván-Sánchez and Minerva García INTRODUCTION According to several authors, an outstanding orientation towards organizational learning and knowledge management constitutes a useful platform for getting into hyper-competitive markets (Argyris and Schon 1978; Kim and Kogut 1996; Prencipe and Tell 2001). Traditional internationalization theories consider firms’ internationalization as a gradual process of commitment that is the consequence of an incremental learning curve. However, some firms, specially those in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector do not necessarily follow this general path. It is possible to find processes of quick internationalization from inception, based on different resources such as networks (external resources) or capabilities (internal resources) and with a special orientation towards organizational learning (Autio et al. 2000; Bell and McNaughton 2000; Zahra et al. 2000; Zahra and George 2002; Knight and Cavusgil 2004). Firms implementing this internationalization process have received different names in the literature (born globals, international new ventures, global start-ups, instant internationals, hightechnology start-ups, global high-tech firms), and are usually defined as ‘a business organization that, from inception, searches for earning a significant competitive advantage from the use of its resources, and from the sale of products, in multiple countries’ (Oviatt and McDougall 1994, p. 49). Zahra and George (2002, p. 11) conceive the mechanism of creation of international firms as ‘the creative process of discovering and exploiting opportunities that reside outside of the domestic markets, searching...
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