Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 297–311 | Cite as

The Number of Export Markets that a Firm Serves: Process Models versus the Born-Global Phenomenon

  • Rod B. McNaughtonEmail author


An implicit assumption in process models of internationalization is that firms gradually increase the number of markets to which they export. In contrast, recent research on born-global firms highlights cases where firms enter numerous geographic markets around the time of their inception. This paper draws on both process models and the literature about born-global firms to identify possible influences on the number of export markets served by a firm. The results of a survey of micro-exporters suggest that the number of export markets is positively associated with firm age, proprietary and knowledge-intense products, industries that are internationalized, and small domestic markets. This research provides a description of the market, product and industry conditions where entry into a larger number of export markets should be considered.

born-global export markets internationalization micro-exporters 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abdel-Malek, R., 1974, Managerial Export Orientation. London, Ontario: School of Business Administration, University of Western Ontario.Google Scholar
  2. Alexandrides, C.G., 1971, ‘How the Major Obstacles to Expansion can be Overcome’, Atlanta Economic Review 12-15 (May).Google Scholar
  3. Andersen, O., 1993, ‘On the Internationalization Process of Firms: A Critical Analysis’, Journal of International Business Studies (Second Quarter), 209-231.Google Scholar
  4. Autio, E., H.J. Sapienza, and J.G. Almeida, 2000, ‘Effects of Age at Entry, Knowledge Intensity, and Imitability on International Growth’, Academy of Management Journal 43(5), 909-924.Google Scholar
  5. Balcome, D.L., 1986, Choosing their Own Paths: Profiles of the Export Strategies of Canadian Manufacturers, International Business Research Centre Report 06-86, Ottawa: Conference Board of Canada.Google Scholar
  6. Beamish, P.W., A. Goerzen, and H. Munro, 1984, The Export Characteristics of Canadian Manufacturers: A Profile by Firm Size, Working Paper No. 824. Waterloo, ON: School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University.Google Scholar
  7. Bell, J., 1995, ‘The Internationalization of Small Computer Software Firms–A Further Challenge to “Stage” Theories’, European Journal of Marketing 29(8), 60-75.Google Scholar
  8. Bilkey, W.J. and G. Tesar, 1977, ‘The Export Behavior of Smaller-sized Wisconsin Manufacturing Firms’, Journal of International Business Studies (Spring/Summer), 93-98.Google Scholar
  9. Bonaccorsi, A., 1992, ‘On the Relationship between Firm Size and Export Intensity’, Journal of International Business Studies 4(4), 605-635.Google Scholar
  10. Boter, H. and C. Holmquist, 1996, ‘Industry Characteristics and Internationalization Processes in Small Firms’, Journal of Business Venturing 11(6), 471-487.Google Scholar
  11. Bradley, M.F., 1984, ‘Effects of Cognitive Style, Attitude toward Youth, and Motivation on the Internationalization of the Firm’, in J.N. Sheth (ed.), Research in Marketing, Vol. 4, New York: JAI Press, pp. 237-260.Google Scholar
  12. Buckley, P., D. Newbould, and J. Thurwell, 1979, ‘Going International—The Foreign Direct Investment Decisions of Smaller UK Firms’, Uppsala: EIBA Proceedings, pp. 72-87.Google Scholar
  13. Calof, J.L., 1993, ‘The Impact of Size on Internationalization’, Journal of Small Business Management (October), 60-69.Google Scholar
  14. Calof, J.L., 1994. ‘The Relationship between Firm Size and Export Behavior Revisited’, Journal of International Business Studies 25(2), 367-387.Google Scholar
  15. Cannon, T. and M. Willis, 1981, ‘The Smaller Firm in International Trade’, European Small Business Journal 1(3), 45-55.Google Scholar
  16. Cavusgil, S.T., 1984a, ‘Organizational Characteristics Associated with Export Activity’, Journal of Management Studies 21(1), 3-22.Google Scholar
  17. Cavusgil, S.T., 1984b, ‘Differences Among Exporting Firms Based on their Degree of Internationalization’, Journal of Business Research 12(2), 195-208.Google Scholar
  18. Christensen, C.H., A. da Rocha, and R.K. Gertner, 1987, ‘An Empirical Investigation of the Factors Influencing Export Success of Brazilian Firms’, Journal of International Business Studies 18(3), 61-77.Google Scholar
  19. Coviello, N.E., 1994, Internationalizing the Entrepreneurial High Technology, Knowledge-Intensive Firm, University of Auckland, New Zealand: Unpublished PhD Dissertation.Google Scholar
  20. Coviello, N.E. and H. Munro, 1997, ‘Network Relationships and the Internationalization Process of Small Software Firms’, International Business Review 6(4), 361-386.Google Scholar
  21. Ellis, P.D. and Pecotich, 1998, ‘Export Marketing: Historical Development and Theoretical Integration’, In Contemporary Issues in International Business, eds. G. Ogunmokun and R. Gabbay, Academic Press International, Western Australia, pp. 1-40.Google Scholar
  22. Fenwick, I. and L. Amine, 1979, ‘Export Performance and Export Policy: Evidence from the UK Clothing Industry’, Journal of the Operational Research Society 30(8), 747-754.Google Scholar
  23. Hirsch, S. and Z. Adar, 1974, ‘Firm Size and Export Performance’, World Development 2(7), 41-46.Google Scholar
  24. Johanson, J. and L.G. Mattsson, 1988, ‘Internationalization in Industrial Systems—A Network Approach’, in N. Hood (ed.) Strategies for Global Competition, London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  25. Johanson, J. and J. Vahlne, 1977, ‘The Internationalization Process of the Firm: A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Commitments’, Journal of International Business Studies (Spring/Summer), 23-32.Google Scholar
  26. Johanson, J. and F. Wiedersheim-Paul, 1975. ‘The Internationalization of the Firm: Four Swedish Case Studies’, Journal of Management Studies (October), 305-322.Google Scholar
  27. Jolly, V., M. Alahuhta, and J. Jeannet, 1992, ‘Challenging the Incumbents: How High Technology Startups Compete Globally’, Journal of Strategic Change 1, 71-82.Google Scholar
  28. Knight, G. and S. Tamer Cavusgil, 1996, ‘The Born Global Firm: A Challenge to Traditional Internationalization Theory’, Advances in International Marketing, 11-26.Google Scholar
  29. Leonidou, L.C. and C.S. Katsikeas, 1996, ‘The Export Development Process: An Integrative Review of Empirical Models’, Journal of International Business Studies 27(3), 517-551.Google Scholar
  30. Madsen, Tage Koed, and Per Servais, 1997, ‘The Internationalization of Born Globals: An Evolutionary Process?’, International Business Review 6(6), 561-583.Google Scholar
  31. McDougall, Patricia Phillips, Scott Shane, and Benjamin M. Oviatt, 1994, ‘Explaining the Formation of International New Ventures: The Limits of Theories from International Business Research’, Journal of Business Venturing 9(6), 469-487.Google Scholar
  32. McKinsey and Co., 1993, Emerging Exporters: Australia's High Value-Added Manufacturing Exporters. Melbourne: Australian Manufacturing Council.Google Scholar
  33. McNaughton, R.B., 2000 ‘Determinants of Time-Span to Foreign Market Entry: Evidence from Canadian Micro-Businesses’, Journal of Euro Marketing 9(2), 99-112.Google Scholar
  34. Oesterle, Michael-Jorg, 1997, ‘Time-span Until Internationalization: Foreign Market Entry as a Built-in Mechanism of Innovations’, Management International Review 37(2), 125-149.Google Scholar
  35. Olson, H.D., 1975, Studies in Export Promotion: Attempts to Evaluate Export Stimulation Measures for the Swedish Textile and Clothing Industries, Uppsala University, Uppsala: Sweden.Google Scholar
  36. Oviatt, B.M. and McDougall, P.P., 1994, ‘Toward a theory of international new ventures’, Journal of International Business Studies, 25(1), 45-64.Google Scholar
  37. Oviatt, Benjamin M. and Patricia Phillips McDougall, 1997, ‘Challenges for Internationalization Process Theory: The Case of International New Ventures’, Management International Review 37, 85-99.Google Scholar
  38. Piercy, N., 1981, ‘Company Internationalization: Active and Reactive Exporting’, European Journal of Marketing 15(3), 26-40.Google Scholar
  39. Piercy, N., 1983, ‘Export Strategy—The Market Portfolio’, European Research 11(4), 168-174.Google Scholar
  40. Rao, P.M. and Joseph A. Klein, 1994, ‘Growing Importance of Marketing Strategies for the Software Industry’, Industrial Marketing Management 23, 29-37.Google Scholar
  41. Reid, S.D., 1982, ‘The Impact of Size on Export Behavior in Small Firms’, in M.R. Czinkota and G. Tesar (eds.), Export Management: An International Context, New York: Praeger, pp. 18-38.Google Scholar
  42. Reid, S.D., 1983, ‘Firm Internationalization, Transaction Costs and Strategic Choice’, International Marketing Review 1(2), 45-55.Google Scholar
  43. Rosson, P.J., 1984, ‘Success Factors in Manufacturer-Overseas Distributor Relationships in International Marketing’, in E. Kaynak (ed.), International Marketing Management, New York: Praeger, pp. 91-107.Google Scholar
  44. Turnbull, P.W., 1987, ‘A Challenge to the Stages Theory of the Internationalization Process’, in P.J. Rosson and S.D. Reid (eds.), Managing Export Entry and Expansion, New York: Praeger, pp. 21-40.Google Scholar
  45. Vozikis, G.S. and T.S. Mescon, 1985, ‘Small Exporters and Stages of Development: An Empirical Study’, American Journal of Small Business 10, 49-64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

Personalised recommendations