The internationalization of small firms: The relationship between the global mindset and firms' internationalization behavior

Oyvin Kyvik, Willem Saris, Eduard Bonet, J. Augusto Felício

    Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Some firms in internationally oriented industries are internationalized while other comparable firms in the same sector or industry do not. Observing this difference in strategic behavior among small firms led us to consider how differences in CEOs' attitudes, international orientation, and mindset might explain it. Therefore, this study adopts a cognitive perspective on management to explore the formation of the global mindset and the relationship between the global mindset of small-firm decision makers and their firms' internationalization behavior. A theory-based conceptual model and measurement instrument are developed and-using structural equation modeling-the model is estimated based on empirical data from cross-sectional samples of small Norwegian and Portuguese firms. The study finds: (1) a strong causal relationship between the global mindset and firms' internationalization behavior; (2) the combination of the findings and substantive theory indicates that the main driver of firms' internationalization operates through the global mindset. This study also covers the factors that strongly influence the formation of a global mindset, especially the decision makers' work experience and personal characteristics in terms of propensity to interdisciplinary collaboration, cognitive flexibility, and networking capability. Based on these findings, suggestions are made for policies that can foster the internationalization of small firms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)172-195
    Number of pages24
    JournalJournal of International Entrepreneurship
    Volume11
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

    Keywords

    • Global mindset
    • Internationalization
    • Managerial cognition
    • Small firms

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