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Knowledge development in internationalizing firms

Internationalization process research focuses on how firms develop experiential knowledge from the commitments they make to develop international business relationships. Firms commit resources based on their current state of knowledge and ‘position’ in the network surrounding them. This project studies the knowledge development process in internationalizing firms.

The project uses a database where we have visited 188 Swedish SMEs, and we have also built a database of 305 firms’ international business.

The findings are that more experienced firms make more accurate assessment of how they should expand internationally. They know more about how to search for information, and build business networks for the pursuit of international business. More experienced firms also know more about which instiutional actors and financial service firms are relevant for the firm's international business.

More experienced firms also build procedural knowledge about how to internationalize. That is, they gain a better capability to expand internationally.

The knowledge development process can be compressed to shorter time periods in firms that are in high-tech industries, or that expand internationally very fast.

 

This project is done in collaboration with Jessica Lindberg at Stockholm University, and Angelika Lindstrand and Deo Sharma at Stockholm School of Economics