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Navigating the internationalization process: Strategic resources for early internationalizing firms

Breuillot, Angélique ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0691-8627, Bocquet, Rachel and Favre-Bonté, Véronique (2022) Navigating the internationalization process: Strategic resources for early internationalizing firms. Journal of International Entrepreneurship. ISSN 1570-7385

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Abstract

Despite an increasing number of studies identifying factors that influence the internationalization process for early internationalizing firms (EIFs), it remains unclear which of these numerous factors could play a strategic role and, more specifically, when. This paper develops a new conceptual framework anchored in the resource-based view to identify strategic resources that can explain EIFs’ internationalization process accurately over time. Building on a systematic literature review based on 102 papers covering a period of 29 years, we methodically present a phase-by-phase observation of EIFs’ internationalization process to identify the strategic relevance of different influential resources. The results highlight the importance of the shift from individual to organizational resources, which occurs at a critical phase of transition from the entry to the post-entry phase. Studying the evolution of strategic resources along four phases allows us to determine that the progress of EIFs through the phases of their internationalization process is closely linked to their resources’ development process. This study suggests some promising research avenues, at theoretical and methodological levels, and results in a series of concrete recommendations intended for entrepreneurs and/or managers of EIFs.

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