Early Internationalization

Conference proceedings article


Research Areas

Publication Details

Subtitle: the importance of skills and relational networks
Author list: Lobo, C. A., & Maldonado I
Publication year: 2017
Title of series: 11th annual International Technology, Education and Development
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Companies are currently required to continually innovate and restructure their operations in order to

respond to the requirements of national and international competition. Companies have to find new

ways to develop competitive advantages and acquire new skills, resources and capabilities.

Since the 90’s, the research on international new ventures (INV) contested the idea that new or small

companies can’t be early internationalized or that they would only do so incrementally. Since then, a

growing flow of research into international new ventures has tried to understand the causes,

processes, and outcomes of the decision to early enter foreign markets. A common thread concerns

the role of learning and knowledge. Organizational knowledge, or its absence, was a central

explanation for internationalization in original stage-based models (Uppsala School), but INV theory

recognized that individual factors such as international experience can also influence the pace and

specially the beginning of internationalization. More specifically, some recent empirical evidence offers

important insights into the internationalization of new business, showing that younger companies are

able to compensate for their limited experiential learning through previous individual experiences of

the top management team and through inter-organizational relationships.

Based on our literature review we intend to evaluate entrepreneurs’ opinions, in order to ascertain

whether factors such as a relational network, worker’s specific skills and "worker’s international

experience, can act as enhancing agents or inducers of the company internationalization process.

Moreover we intend to investigate if there are differences in the importance of these factors to those

companies that internationalize early in their life cycle (maturity level).

An empirical study was carried out with 320 Portuguese companies through Exploratory Analysis and

Univariate Statistical Inference methodologies.

We found evidence that allows us to say that companies that internationalize early in their life cycle

are those which most value the importance of worker’s specific skills and worker’s international

experience. However relational networks don’t depend on companies’ maturity level.Keywords:

Internationalization, skills, networks.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:16