By releasing large amounts of funds, an IPO enables firms to change their strategic direction (Ritter & Welch, 2002). IPO firms can use their funds to pursue new strategic options such as product development or internationalization. Yet, while such options can potentially generate above-average returns, they can also introduce risks which endanger an IPO firm’s survival. As managers struggle with the problem of combining different strategies to achieve higher returns, they must avoid creating excessive complexity which can endanger survival (Hitt et al., 1997).

The aim of this work is to build theory about strategies and their combination affecting the survival of IPO firms. We confront the theoretical hypotheses with longitudinal data on a sample of German IPOs. In the process, we attempt to answer two research questions:

1) How does an internationalization strategy impact IPO firm survival?

2) Which combinations of generic strategies and internationalization impact IPO firm survival?