International Opportunities and Value Creation in International Entrepreneurship

  • Tuija Mainela
  • Vesa Puhakka
  • Ingrid Wakkee


International entrepreneurship (IE) as a field of research has emerged at the intersection of internationalization and entrepreneurship theories. At this intersection it has come to emphasize the activities centered on international opportunities. International opportunities, then, are about value creation and competitive imperfections in international exchange. However, the activities of value creation in relation to international opportunity actualization have received limited attention. With a view that international opportunities take many forms and are generated in various of entrepreneurial processes, we develop theory-driven conceptualizations of international opportunities for future empirical probing. Building on knowledge of entrepreneurial opportunities in entrepreneurship research and prior research on international opportunities this study proposes four conceptualizations of value-creating international opportunities differentiating venture and market type of opportunities and opportunities of objective and subjective nature. The chapter concludes by discussing the implications of the different conceptualizations of international opportunities as different modes of value creation.


Foreign Market Entrepreneurial Opportunity International Entrepreneurship Arbitrage Opportunity Entrepreneurship Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Acedo, F., & Jones, M. (2007). Speed of internationalization and entrepreneurial cognition: Insights and a comparison between international new ventures, exporters and domestic firms. Journal of World Business, 42, 236–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acs, Z., Morck, R., & Yeung, B. (2001). Entrepreneurship, globalization, and public policy. Journal of International Management, 7, 235–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alvarez, S., & Barney, J. (2007). Discovery and creation: Alternative theories of entrepreneurial action. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1, 11–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alvarez, S., & Barney, J. (2010). Entrepreneurship and epistemology: The philosophical underpinnings of the study of entrepreneurial opportunities. Academy of Management Annals, 4, 557–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andersson, S., & Evers, N. (2015). International opportunity recognition in international new ventures – A dynamic managerial capabilities perspective. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 13, 260–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Andersson, U., Blankenburg Holm, D., & Johanson, M. (2005). Opportunities, relational embeddedness and network structure. In P. Ghauri, A. Hadjikhani, & J. Johanson (Eds.), Managing opportunity development in business networks (pp. 27–48). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Anokhin, S., Wincent, J., & Autio, E. (2011). Operationalizing opportunities in entrepreneurship research: Use of data envelopment analysis. Small Business Economics, 37, 39–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ardichvili, A., Cardozo, R., & Ray, S. (2003). A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. Journal of Business Venturing, 18, 105–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Autio, E. (2005). Creative tension: The significance of Ben Oviatt’s and Patricia McDougall’s article toward a theory of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(1), 9–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Autio, E., Sapienza, H., & Almeida, J. (2000). Effects of age at entry, knowledge intensity, and imitability on international growth. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 909–924.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Baker, T., & Nelson, R. E. (2005). Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial bricolage. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50, 329–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Baker, T., Gedajlovic, E., & Lubatkin, M. (2005). A framework for comparing entrepreneurship processes across nations. Journal of International Business Studies, 36, 492–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Blocker, C. (2011). Modeling customer value perceptions in cross-cultural business markets. Journal of Business Research, 64, 533–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chandra, Y., & Coviello, N. (2010). Broadening the concept of international entrepreneurship: Consumers as international entrepreneurs. Journal of World Business, 45, 228–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chandra, Y., Styles, C., & Wilkinson, I. (2012). An opportunity-based view of rapid internationalization. Journal of International Marketing, 20, 74–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cohen, B., & Winn, M. (2007). Market imperfections, opportunity and sustainable entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 22, 29–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Coviello, N. (2006). The network dynamics of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 37, 713–731.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crick, D., & Jones, M. (2000). Small high-technology firms and international high-technology markets. Journal of International Marketing, 8, 63–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Crick, D., Chaundry, S., & Batstone, S. (2001). An investigation into the overseas expansion of small Asian-owned U.K. firms. Small Business Economics, 16, 75–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crick, D. & Spence, M. (2005). The internationalisation of ‘high performing’ UK high-tech SMEs: a study of planned and unplanned strategies. International Business Review, 14(2), 167–185.Google Scholar
  21. Dana, L.-P., Hamilton, R., & Wick, K. (2009). Deciding to export: An exploratory study of Singaporean entrepreneurs. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 7, 79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Davidsson, P. (2003). The domain of entrepreneurship research: Some suggestions. In J. Katz & D. Shepherd (Eds.), Cognitive approaches to entrepreneurship research, Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth (Vol. 6, pp. 315–372). Howard House: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davidsson, P. (2015). Entrepreneurial opportunities and the entrepreneurship nexus: A re-conceptualization. Journal of Business Venturing, 30, 674–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Davidsson, P., Hunter, E., & Klofsten, M. (2006). Institutional forces: The invisible hand that shapes venture ideas? International Small Business Journal, 24, 115–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Di Gregorio, D., Musteen, M., & Thomas, D. (2008). International new ventures: The cross-border nexus of individuals and opportunities. Journal of World Business, 43, 186–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Dimitratos, P., Plakoyiannaki, E., Pitsoulaki, A., & Tüselmann, H. J. (2010). The global smaller firm in international entrepreneurship. International Business Review, 19, 589–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Dimitratos, P., Voudouris, I., Plakoyiannaki, E., & Nakos, G. (2012). International entrepreneurial culture – Toward a comprehensive opportunity-based operationalization of international entrepreneurship. International Business Review, 21, 708–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Downing, S. (2005). The social construction of entrepreneurship: Narrative and dramatic processes in the coproduction of organizations and identities. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29, 185–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Eckhardt, J., & Shane, S. (2003). Opportunities and entrepreneurship. Journal of Management, 29, 333–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ellis, P. (2011). Social ties and international entrepreneurship: Opportunities and constraints effecting firm internationalization. Journal of International Business Studies, 42, 99–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Evangelista, F. (2005). Qualitative insights into the international new venture creation process. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 3, 179–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fletcher, D. (2004). International entrepreneurship and the small firms. Entrepreneurship and regional development, 16, 289–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fletcher, D. (2006). Entrepreneurial processes and the social construction of opportunity. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 18, 421–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Grönroos, C. (2011). A service perspective on business relationships: The value creation, interaction and marketing interface. Industrial Marketing Management, 40, 240–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hayek, F. (1945). The use of knowledge in society. The American Economic Review, 35, 519–530.Google Scholar
  36. Hills, G., Shrader, R., & Lumpkin, G. (1999). Opportunity recognition as a creative process. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 19, 216–227.Google Scholar
  37. Hohenthal, J., Johanson, J., & Johanson, M. (2003). Market discovery and the international expansion of the firm. International Business Review, 12, 659–672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Holt, R. (2008). Using activity theory to understand entrepreneurial opportunity. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 15, 52–70.Google Scholar
  39. Ibeh, K. (2003). Toward a contingency framework of export entrepreneurship: Conceptualisations and empirical evidence. Small Business Economics, 20, 49–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Ireland, R. D., Hitt, M., & Sirmon, D. (2003). A model of strategic entrepreneurship: The construct and its dimensions. Journal of Management, 29, 963–989.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Isenberg, D. (2008). The global entrepreneur: A new breed of entrepreneur is thinking across borders – From day one. Harvard Business Review, 86, 107–111.Google Scholar
  42. Jantunen, A., Nummela, N., Puumalainen, K., & Saarenketo, S. (2008). Strategic orientations of born globals – Do they really matter? Journal of World Business, 43, 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.-E. (2006). Commitment and opportunity development in the internationalization process: A note on the Uppsala internationalization process model. Management International Review, 46, 165–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.-E. (2009). The Uppsala internationalization model revisited – From liability of foreigness to liability of outsidership. Journal of International Business Studies, 40, 1411–1431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Jones, M., Coviello, N., & Tang, Y. (2011). International entrepreneurship research (1989–2009): A domain ontology and thematic analysis. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(6), 632–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Karagozoglu, N., & Lindell, M. (1998). Internationalization of small and medium-sized technology-based firms: An exploratory study. Journal of Small Business Management, 36, 44–59.Google Scholar
  47. Karra, N., Phillips, N., & Tracey, P. (2008). Building the born global firm: Developing entrepreneurial capabilities for international new venture success. Long Range Planning, 41, 440–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Kauppinen, A., & Juho, A. (2012). Internationalisation of SMEs from the perspective of social learning theory. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 10, 200–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Kihlstrom, R., & Laffont, J. (1979). A general equilibrium entrepreneurial theory of firm formation based on risk aversion. The Journal of Political Economy, 87, 719–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Kirzner, I. (1973). Competition and entrepreneurship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  51. Kirzner, I. (1979). Perception, opportunity, and profit: Studies in the theory of entrepreneurship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  52. Kirzner, I. (1997). Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: An Austrian approach. Journal of Economic Literature, 35, 60–85.Google Scholar
  53. Kirzner, I. (2009). The alert and creative entrepreneur: A clarification. Small Business Economics, 32, 145–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Klein, P. (2008). Opportunity discovery, entrepreneurial action, and economic organization. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2, 175–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Knight, G., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2004). Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35, 124–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kocak, A., & Abimbola, T. (2009). The effects of entrepreneurial marketing on born global performance. International Marketing Review, 26, 439–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kontinen, T., & Ojala, A. (2011). Network ties in the international opportunity recognition of family SMEs. International Business Review, 20, 440–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Kowalkowski, C. (2011). Dynamics of value propositions: Insights from service-dominant logic. European Journal of Marketing, 45, 277–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Kropp, F., Lindsay, N., & Shoham, A. (2006). Entrepreneurial, market, and learning orientations and international entrepreneurial business venture performance in South African firms. International Marketing Review, 23, 504–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kuemmerle, W. (2002). Home base and knowledge management in international ventures. Journal of Business Venturing, 17, 99–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lindgren, M., & Packendorff, J. (2009). Social constructionism and entrepreneurship: Basic assumptions and consequences for theory and research. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 15, 25–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Mainela, T. & Puhakka, V. (2009). Organising new business in turbulent context. Opportunity-creation and effectuation behaviours for IJV in transition markets. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 7, 111–134.Google Scholar
  63. Mainela, T., Puhakka, V., & Servais, P. (2014). The concept of international opportunity in international entrepreneurship: A review and a research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16, 105–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. McClelland, D. (1965). N achievement and entrepreneurship: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1, 389–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. McDougall, P. P., & Oviatt, B. (2000). International entrepreneurship: The intersection of two research paths. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 902–906.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. McDougall, P. P., Shane, S., & Oviatt, B. (1994). Explaining the formation of international new ventures: The limits of theories from international business research. Journal of Business Venturing, 9, 469–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. McGaughey, S. (2007). Hidden ties in international new venturing: The case of portfolio entrepreneurship. Journal of World Business, 42, 307–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Muzychenko, O. (2008). Cross-cultural entrepreneurial competence in identifying international business opportunities. European Management Journal, 26, 366–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Möller, K., & Rajala, A. (2007). Rise of strategic nets – New modes of value creation. Industrial Marketing Management, 36, 895–908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Oviatt, B., & McDougall, P. P. (1994). Toward a theory of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 25, 45–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Oviatt, B., & McDougall, P. P. (2005). Defining international entrepreneurship and modeling the speed of internationalization. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 29, 537–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Park, S., & Bae, Z.-B. (2004). New venture strategies in a developing country: Identifying a typology and examining growth patterns through case studies. Journal of Business Venturing, 19, 81–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Pla-Barber, J., & Escribá-Esteve, A. (2006). Accelerated internationalisation: Evidence from a late investor country. International Marketing Review, 23, 255–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Preece, S., Miles, G., & Baetz, M. (1998). Explaining the international intensity and global diversity of early stage technology based firms. Journal of Business Venturing, 14, 259–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Rasmussen, E. S., & Tanev, S. (2015). The emergence of the lean global startup as a new type of firm. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5, 12–19.Google Scholar
  76. Rauch, A., & Frese, M. (2007). Let’s put the person back into entrepreneurship research: A meta-analysis on the relationship between business owners’ personality traits, business creation, and success. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 16, 353–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Renko, M., Shrader, R. C., & Simon, M. (2012). Perception of entrepreneurial opportunity: A general framework. Management Decision, 50, 1233–1251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sapienza, H., Autio, E., George, G., & Zahra, S. (2006). A capabilities perspective on the effects of early internationalization on firm survival and growth. Academy of Management Review, 31, 914–933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Sarasvathy, S. (2001). Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26, 243–263.Google Scholar
  80. Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., Velamuri, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2003). Three views of entrepreneurial opportunity. In Z. Acs & D. Audretsch (Eds.), Handbook of entrepreneurship research: An interdisciplinary survey and introduction (pp. 141–160). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  81. Schumpeter, J. A. (1934). The theory of economic development: An inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest, and the business cycle (Vol. 55). London: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  82. Schweizer, R., Vahlne, J.-E., & Johanson, J. (2010). Internationalization as an entrepreneurial process. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 8, 343–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Sequeira, J., Carr, J., & Rasheed, A. (2009). Transnational entrepreneurship: Determinants of firm type and owner attributions of success. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33, 1023–1044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Shane, S. (2000). Prior knowledge and the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities. Organization Science, 11, 448–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shane, S. (2012). Reflections on the 2010 AMR Decade Award: Delivering on the promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 37, 10–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25, 217–226.Google Scholar
  87. Shaw, V., & Darroch, J. (2004). Barriers to internationalisation: A study of entrepreneurial new ventures in New Zealand. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2, 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Short, J., Ketchen, D., Shook, C., & Ireland, R. D. (2010). The concept of “opportunity” in entrepreneurship research: Past accomplishments and future challenges. Journal of Management, 36, 40–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Spence, M., & Crick, D. (2006). A comparative investigation into the internationalisation of Canadian and UK high-tech SMEs. International Marketing Review, 23, 524–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Sullivan Mort, G., & Weerawardena, J. (2006). Network capability and international entrepreneurship. How network function in Australian born global firms. International Marketing Review, 23, 549–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Van de Ven, A., & Engleman, R. (2004). Event-and outcome-driven explanations of entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 19, 343–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Venkataraman, S. (1997). The distinctive domain of entrepreneurship research. In J. Katz (Ed.), Advances in entrepreneurship, firm emergence and growth (pp. 119–138). Greenwich: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  93. Venkataraman, S., Sarasvathy, S., Dew, N., & Forster, W. (2012). Reflections on the 2010 AMR Decade Award: Whither the promise? Moving forward with entrepreneurship as a science of the artificial. Academy of Management Review, 37, 21–33.Google Scholar
  94. Wakkee, I., & van der Sijde, P. (2010). ICT opportunities unlimited: The international dimension. In T. Brychan & G. Simmons (Eds.), E-commerce adoption and small business in the global marketplace: Tools for optimization (pp. 174–186). Hershey: Business Science Reference.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Wood, M., & McKinley, W. (2010). The production of entrepreneurial opportunity: A constructivist perspective. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 4, 66–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Zahra, S. (2005). A theory of international new ventures: A decade of research. Journal of International Business Studies, 36, 20–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Zahra, S., Ireland, R. D., & Hitt, M. (2000). International expansion by new venture firms: International diversity, mode of market entry, technological learning, and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 925–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Zahra, S., Korri, J. S., & Yu, J. (2005). Cognition and international entrepreneurship: Implications for research on international opportunity recognition and exploitation. International Business Review, 14, 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Zahra, S., Abdelgawad, S., & Tsang, E. (2011). Emerging multinationals venturing into developed economies: Implications for learning, unlearning, and entrepreneurial capability. Journal of Management Inquiry, 20, 323–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Zander, I. (2007). Do you see what I mean? An entrepreneurship perspective on the nature and boundaries of the firm. Journal of Management Studies, 44, 1141–1164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Zhou, L., Barnes, B., & Luo, Y. (2010). Entrepreneurial proclivity, capability upgrading and performance advantage of newness among international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 41, 882–905.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuija Mainela
    • 1
  • Vesa Puhakka
    • 1
  • Ingrid Wakkee
    • 2
  1. 1.Oulu Business SchoolUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesVU UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations