De-internationalization of small high technology firms: An international entrepreneurship perspective

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandling


This study explores the process of de-internationalisation in small high-technology firms. The key research questions are how and why these firms de-internationalise. Being positioned at the intersection of entrepreneurship and international business research paths, the study expressly investigates whether de-internationalisation could be viewed as (i) an entrepreneurial activity; and/or (ii) an integral part of a small high-technology firms’ growth process.

Driven by the nature of the research questions, a multiple-case study methodology was adopted for the purpose of theory building. Five firms were selected and located on the basis of theoretical and snow-ball sampling strategies. To explore companies’ critical events and episodes, the method of critical incident technique was employed. In total, 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with company directors and their stakeholders, yielding approximately 150 pages of interview data. Data pertinent to each case was coded in an iterative manner, working back and forth between theory, emerging patterns and data. Within- and cross-case analyses were employed to analyse the data. The method of constructing typologies by reduction was employed extensively to advance middle-range theories.

The study contributes to (i) international business research by developing a process model of de-internationalisation and defining its constructs; (ii) entrepreneurship research by redefining the entrepreneurial orientation construct and developing a set of propositions to test the proposed definition; and (iii) international entrepreneurship research by providing a unifying definition of born globals, and delineating the research domain of international entrepreneurship research. Apart from developing these middle-range theories, the study also puts forward a formal theory of new venture survivability that postulates that the closer the new business venture is to the hype, the higher the likelihood of failure. Future research is warranted to either confirm or refute the proposed middle-range and formal theories. Implications for practitioners and policy makers are also discussed.
ForlagHunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, UK
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2006


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