Academic journal article Management International Review

Mapping the Intellectual Structure of Research on 'Born Global' Firms and INVs: A Citation/co-Citation Analysis

Academic journal article Management International Review

Mapping the Intellectual Structure of Research on 'Born Global' Firms and INVs: A Citation/co-Citation Analysis

Article excerpt

Abstract The present research paper shows the results of an analysis of the existing literature on one of the topics that has sparked the most interest among scholars and researchers in the fields of international management and entrepreneurship: bom global firms or international new ventures. Concretely, with the aim of identifying and visualising the intellectual structure of research on this phenomenon, a total of 124 research papers whose titles contain the above terms are analysed. The methodology is mainly based on the bibliometric techniques of document citation and co-citation analyses and the analysis of social networks.

Keywords Born global firms [??] International new ventures [??] International management [??] Entrepreneurship [??] Bibliometrics [??] Citation analysis [??] Document co-citation analysis (DCA) [??] Social network analysis (SNA)

JEL Classifications L26 . M13

1 Introduction

The phenomenon of born globals (Bell et al. 2001; Knight and Cavusgil 1996; Moen and Servais 2002; Sharma and Blomstermo 2003; among others), also known as international new ventures (Coviello 2006; Oviatt and McDougall 1994; Zahra 2005; among others), is one of the topics that has sparked the most interest recently among scholars and researchers in the fields of international management and entrepreneurship. However, it is also one of the most paradoxical (Garcia-Canal and Valdes-Llaneza 2015, p. 34) because they are usually newly created companies that manage to rapidly break into international markets. The paradox is that these early internationalised companies seem to challenge the validity of the most widely accepted theory on the internationalisation process: the model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments of Johanson and Vahlne (1977).

As mentioned above, many researchers have argued that the creation process of born globals is not sufficiently well explained by the existing traditional theories on international companies (e.g., Knight and Cavusgil 1996; McDougall et al. 1994). This is mainly because these perspectives tend to assume that companies internationalise after a certain time has passed since their creation (Johanson and Vahlne 1977). Thus, authors such as Coviello and McAuley (1999) indicate that under independent examination the theories of direct investment, the gradualist models of internationalisation and the network approach cannot adequately explain the internationalisation process that characterises born globals. In the opinion of these authors, the internationalisation of these companies is better explained by integrating the main theoretical frameworks in a holistic approach. Consequently, the literature on born global firms features models and conceptual frameworks that integrate different theoretical approaches.

Madsen and Servais (1997), for example, reach the conclusion that born global firms arise and develop in a way that has a certain concordance with the network approach and the evolutionary theory of the firm (Nelson and Winter 1982). In fact, the phenomenon is conceptualised through the establishment of explicit links with the model of Uppsala and other more recent theoretical approximations such as the network approach applied to company internationalisation (Johanson and Mattsson 1988). From the analysis of these theoretical links the above authors extract some specific propositions around the antecedents and conditions necessary for the future consolidation of born globals.

For their part, McDougall et al. (1994) develop a theory on these firms based on an integration of the approaches of international management, entrepreneurship and strategic management.

Weerawardena et al. (2007), to give a final example, present a conceptual model of the internationalisation of born global firms based principally, but not exclusively, on the perspective of dynamic capabilities. The authors argue that the most critical capabilities in these companies include learning from the market and internally, the capacity to develop networks and a high level of international marketing skills. …

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