SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration
Problemistic Search and International Entrepreneurship
() and Carin Holmquist
Abstract: This paper explains the internationalization process of
small firms using the theory of performance relative to aspiration levels.
The study complements prior theory by explaining why and how small firms
are triggered to engage in internationalization despite not reaching
maturity in their home market. We outline a model where firms’
internationalization is triggered by problemistic search, following periods
of below-aspiration performance. The model is tested on 860 Swedish firms
followed during an economic downturn. Results indicate that
internationalization activities follow a boundedly rational process
characterized by search behavior which is triggered by performance
feedback. The study complements prior theories of internationalization and
offers a first empirical demonstration of the viability of aspiration-level
performance theory in international entrepreneurship research.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; International Entry; Behavioral Theory of the Firm; (follow links to similar papers)
41 pages, July 5, 2007, Revised January 5, 2009
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- This paper is forthcoming as:
Wennberg, Karl and Carin Holmquist, 'Problemistic Search and International Entrepreneurship', European Management Journal.
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