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Going International: A Born Global Approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

How is competition affected when market boundaries appears none-existing? Our way of communicating and interact has changed the business landscape and created one, international market accessible to all companies striving for competitive advantage (McDougall et al., 2000). Internationalization is the name of the process where firms cross national boundaries and take part of this international market. There are several theories describing this phenomenon, however one of the first models presented was one by the Swedish researchers Johanson and Vahlne in 1977. The Internationalization Process model, also known as the IP model, explains the internationalization of firms as an incremental process of international involvement where knowledge about foreign markets and market commitment affect the way a company proceed internationally.

Today’s business landscape has introduced a new kind of companies, a product of our connected world; born global firms are increasing in numbers and described as small, often high technological firms aiming for the international market right after establishing. As the authors of this master thesis we found it interesting that a model such as the internationalization model is still used, discussed and referred to. How can a model deriving from the 1970´s still have such importance in today’s changed world? Is it even applicable for this new business arena that the born global firms constitute?

Our research question has been as follows;

How does Johanson and Vahlne’s internationalization process model work in practice for born global firms?

The way we have analysed our findings is according to our purpose of the study; to define a born global company according to existing theories, examine its relation to the internationalization process model and create a more dynamic version of Johanson and Vahlne’s model.

The research process has been carried out as a qualitative study where we have made a deep study of a small, high technological company in Umeå called Seaflex. We have also included an interview with the Swedish Trade Council to support and broaden our empirical findings. Since our aim is to draw conclusions about an existing theory, we have undertaken a deductive approach in our research.

After conducting our research we have in our analysis defined Seaflex as a born global company, examined its relation to internationalization and then, in specific to Johanson & Vahlne’s internationalization process model. Finally in our conclusions we present a new internationalization process model focused on born global firms. Our findings are that when born global firms go international, the knowledge needed can be mainly obtained through the development of relationships with partners and new opportunities are discovered through the deliberate use of networks.

Due to the fact that our research involves solely one company, we are aware of its limited generalization. Therefore, our main suggestion for further research is to examine our suggested model however with a much broader perspective taking several born global firms perspectives into account.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 74 p.
Keyword [en]
Internationalization, Internationalization process model, Born global, Relations, Network
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1315OAI: diva2:140630
Available from: 2007-08-28 Created: 2007-08-28Bibliographically approved

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