Entrepreneurs and the internationalization of a born global firm : The role of the entrepreneur in the early and rapid internationalization of born globals: the case of Swedish companies
Abstract: Background and Problem: The number of companies aiming at operating in the international markets right after their inception is at constant growth. According to Knight and Cavusgil (2004), these firms, which are quite often small and technology-oriented, have the tendency to adopt a global market vision from the initial stage of company’s establishment. The vast and rapid technological change is one crucial reason behind the spread of the born global phenomenon. Born globals can reach out much earlier and faster to the international market than traditional firms. The phenomenon has been studied earlier, however with a focus on the firm-level drivers of early and rapid internationalization without giving enough importance to the role of the entrepreneur. Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to understand the early and rapid internationalization process of born global firms based on the characteristics and the behavior of the entrepreneur managing the firm. In addition, the research team will contribute to the existing born global literature by applying existing models from the International Business and International Entrepreneurship disciplines. Methodology: In order to answer the research question presented in this thesis, a qualitative research approach was chosen. The research team included 5 Swedish born global Internet–based companies, namely Klarna, Sqore, the Local, Asket and 46elks. Analysis and conclusion: Our findings concluded that the entrepreneurs of born global firms play a significant role in the early and rapid internationalization of the firm. The entrepreneurs tend to subconsciously use effectuation logic at the early stages of the firm establishment by possessing traits of an entrepreneur such as innovativeness, proactivity and risk-taking behavior. Furthermore the educational background and prior work experience were found to be of equal importance, however international experience and entrepreneurial background were observed to be of an utmost importance. Social and business networks were also noticed to play a significant role in the early stages of a firm. Finally, it was spotted that the entrepreneurs tend to change their effectuation logic to a causation one at later stages of firm development including its expansion to international markets.
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