Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 133–171 | Cite as

The Born-Global Phenomenon: A Comparative Case Study Research

  • Alex Rialp
  • Josep Rialp
  • David Urbano
  • Yancy Vaillant


This qualitative, case-based research investigates the most relevant traits shown by several new, export-involved born-global firms and their entrepreneurs-managers versus other more traditional and also recently-established exporting SMEs in a specific geographic region inside Spain. More concretely, we aim to shed light on the type of factors and specific conditions underlying the emergence and further expansion of born-global exporters, as compared to other counterparts, which do not share their rapid internationalising character from inception. From our cross-comparison of four firm cases investigated in this setting against a number of factors generally associated with the born-global or gradual internationalisation paths, our results indicate that both constitute two consistent and distinctive patterns of international development. Another relevant finding in this research is that born globals seem indeed to be more entrepreneurial regarding their export entry behaviour into foreign markets than gradual exporters. Relevant academic, managerial, and policy-making implications are also outlined from these results.


international entrepreneurship born-global firms multiple case study Spanish SMEs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Rialp
    • 1
  • Josep Rialp
    • 1
  • David Urbano
    • 1
  • Yancy Vaillant
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Economics DepartmentAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellatera (Barcelona)Spain

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