Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 38, Issue 7, pp 1055–1068 | Cite as

The role of path dependency and managerial intentionality: a perspective on international business research

  • Thomas HutzschenreuterEmail author
  • Torben Pedersen
  • Henk W Volberda


Several decades of research in the field of international business have advanced various theories and studies on the internationalization of firms. Our assessment of the literature on internationalization shows that the focus has been primarily on path-dependency and learning-based aspects of internationalization, while managerial intentionality and the possibility of managers making deliberate strategic choices towards further internationalization have not been very prominent in the IB literature. We argue that internationalization paths and processes should be approached as a joint outcome of management intentionality and experience-based learning. In other words, managers are assumed to have the ability and the intention to influence the evolutionary paths of the firm. We derive a future research agenda that calls for the pursuit of this promising and emergent research stream. Moreover, we develop a model integrating managerial intentionality, knowledge/experience and other factors (institutional and selection forces) to explain heterogeneous outcomes of internationalization positions, paths and processes.


internationalization managerial intentionality path dependency coevolution 



We would like to highlight the large number of very promising papers and excellent ideas that were submitted for the focused issue. Furthermore, we have to thank all authors, particularly the workshop discussants, and all reviewers for their great work and their valuable contribution to this JIBS focused issue. Moreover, we deeply appreciate the contribution and editorial guidance of the Editor-in-Chief, Arie Y Lewin, and the support of the Managing Editors, Danielle Trojan and Joy Kearney, as well as ACCS Managing Chair, Boris Frhr. Marschall v Bieberstein, throughout the process.


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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Hutzschenreuter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Torben Pedersen
    • 2
  • Henk W Volberda
    • 3
  1. 1.WHU Otto Beisheim School of ManagementVallenderGermany
  2. 2.Copenhagen Business SchoolDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Strategic Management & Business EnvironmentRSM Erasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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