Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 387–403 | Cite as

The international entrepreneurial dynamics of accelerated internationalisation

  • John A MathewsEmail author
  • Ivo Zander


The initial stages of internationalisation, prior to firms having established their definitive sources of advantage, remain the relatively unexplored area of the international business (IB) literature. At these early stages, where firms are seeking to establish themselves, and new multinational firms are appearing to exploit new opportunities created by globalisation, the entrepreneurial aspects of internationalisation come to the fore. In this paper we aim to delineate an emerging field of IB scholarship: we use the appearance of international new ventures, and the phenomenon of accelerated internationalisation that they feature, to identify a set of issues that has slipped through the net of some of the existing IB frameworks. We propose that the salient features of accelerated and early internationalisation by the newly internationalising firm are best captured in a framework that is found at the intersection of entrepreneurial and internationalisation perspectives, which we propose be known as international entrepreneurial dynamics. We discuss such a framework in terms of entry points and pathways mapped by firms as they probe the IB arena, and the key factors that impinge on behaviour and strategic choices. In line with recent developments in the entrepreneurship literature, these are grouped into three milestones of entrepreneurial processes that extend across national boundaries: (1) the discovery of new opportunities; (2) the deployment of resources in the exploitation of these opportunities; and (3) the engagement with competitors. Implications for MNE and internationalisation theory are discussed.


international entrepreneurship IED born globals OLI accelerated internationalisation 



This paper was first presented at the Second Annual Conference on Emerging Research Frontiers in International Business Studies, 2004, Michigan State University. We would like to acknowledge the insightful comments and suggestions by Ari Ginsberg and two anonymous reviewers, which have been of significant help in delineating and refining our main arguments. Being unable to fully accommodate the sometimes conflicting requests, any remaining shortcomings and errors remain ours.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Uppsala UniversityUppasalaSweden

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