Abstract

Research on the early internationalization of new ventures has challenged prevailing theories of when and how firms extend their activities abroad. Despite all this interest however, little is known about the specific considerations that entrepreneurs mobilize when making decisions about international entry. Although a number of studies have considered the motivations of entrepreneurs to do business abroad, prior research provides ambiguous evidence regarding entrepreneurs’ distinctive consideration of decision criteria that should increase the costs and risks of internationalization opportunities, by contrast to decision criteria that should increase the revenues and returns of such opportunities. Furthermore, the use of retrospective accounts or firm-level data cannot tell us whether entrepreneurs’ effectively consider tradeoffs and synergies between different criteria when they make decisions about future international opportunities.

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