Internationalization Once Again

As I recently met with one of my former employers, I recalled the efforts we made fifteen years ago to internationalize one of its business units. Based on my experience of leading the internationalization process of that business, I later felt an urge to (i) assess the validity of prior internationalization research both from a contemporary world order perspective and a managerial perspective, and to (ii) propose a comprehensive internationalization model that revitalizes common knowledge and incorporates empirical reality in describing, explaining and predicting the internationalization drivers.

In the paper attached, I have tinted some of the weaknesses in internationalization theorizing, as well as stressed the importance of finding a new gear in building a simple model of managerial value. My ambition here was not to invent the all-time model of internationalization, but rather to contradict the missing tradition of building upon the findings of previous research, to glean knowledge from other disciplines, to avoid the common research replication trap, and to reflect the business environment of today. It is interesting to note that this study was initiated both by an academic call to upgrade and validate internationalization constructs, and by an inductive call to anchor the empirical reality of one company within a conceptual framework. The analysis of my case company proved earlier internationalization frameworks to be insufficient. Although the presentation here is limited to one case study, my work with several other companies seems to validate the merits of the proposed framework.

And to my great pleasure, the case company in this paper is doing very well today as a truly global company.