Marketing and Entrepreneurship: Research Ideas and Opportunities

By Gerald E. Hills | Go to book overview

17
Entrepreneurship in International Marketing: A Continuing Research Challenge

Hans B. Thorelli and George Tesar


INTRODUCTION

International marketing and international business textbooks do not directly address international issues faced by small businesses operated by individual entrepreneurs or by entrepreneurial teams ( Thorelli and Becker 1980). The entrepreneurial and international marketing research ( Low and MacMillan 1988).

Small business operated by individual entrepreneurs or by entrepreneurial teams tend to differ substantially from the typical small business. Small business function in many different ways on many different levels ( Tesar 1977). However, it is the entrepreneur who provides a small firm with the unique dimensions that set it apart from any other small firm ( Kilby 1971). A similar phenomenon exists among the small businesses operated by entrepreneurs or an entrepreneurial team. 1 These firms differ from the typical small firm in their propensity to explore and undertake opportunities, such as entering foreign markets, that would generally be perceived as involving too much risk ( Bilkey 1982; Katz and Gartner 1988). Yet most of the relevant literature addresses firm size rather than new ventures, so small firms receive considerable attention in this chapter.

The concept of entrepreneurship, defined in this presentation as a process of entering foreign markets, is generally accepted in academic research and in practice as a transitional state from entrepreneurial activities to professional corporate management. Once the entrepreneurial effort is completed, foreign market entry activities become more routine ( Flamholtz 1986).

This type of entrepreneurship, venturing into international marketing by entrepreneurial firms, is particularly important in the context of export performance of U.S. firms (GAO/ID-83-21 1983). Expansion into foreign

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