Rapid Internationalization During a Global Pandemic : Swedish Born Global Perspective
Abstract: Most of the existing research regarding internationalization is focusing on larger and established firms. Therefore, this paper will contribute to research by solely focusing on young and small firms' internationalization. There is today much research on specific theories. Meanwhile, the internationalization process is complex by nature. Therefore, this paper focuses on integration between several aspects, which are Born Global, Network strategy, Resources-based view, and Digitalization. The Covid-19 pandemic changed the “status quo” regarding Born Globals’ additional way of doing foreign business, which includes changes regarding network, resources, and digitalization. Based on the knowledge gaps the research questions want to answer how the internationalization process of Swedish Born Globals has been affected during Covid-19, in addition to how networks, resources, and digitalization helped and shaped the internationalization journey during Covid-19.This study aims to better understand how young firms internationalize and achieve rapid growth from foreign markets in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and other restrictions. The paper aims to contribute knowledge regarding challenges and solutions during the Covid-19 pandemic or other future crises. Potentially, firms can learn from this research to prepare them to better meet the future and other potential pandemics or crises. In addition, other more established firms can learn from young organizations that adapted and built their organizations in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.With the help of a deductive approach that uses existing theories as a basis for the interview guide with semi-structured questions, we have found that Swedish Born Globals have been able to successfully internationalize during Covid-19. Networks have been highly important and a shift toward digital meetings has become the new normal. The importance of adapting to digitalization is crucial as connecting with your network has to a large extent taken a digital form. We found that digitalization helps Born Globals to become more resource-efficient and that knowledge of the staff which was regarded as a key resource can be even more efficient when working remotely and communicating digitally. In general, the Born Globals in this study are positive towards change and adaptations, which is a mindset that means opportunities to achieve competitive advantage and rapid international growth in times of the Covid-19 pandemic and after as well.
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