Factors influencing International Entry Strategies: A Born Global approach
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This study considers small Norwegian high-technology firms, with characteristics similar to those of Born Global firms. These types of firms have received an increasing amount of attention in research the last decade, but the specific field of how different factors affect their international entry strategies is scattered. With a basis of a multiple-case study, this thesis contributes with an assessment of how founder-, market- and product characteristics influence the international entry strategies. The dimensions of the strategies that we have considered are market selection dimensions, entry mode and pace of internationalization. This study finds that the founder teams are the most influential factor on the international entry strategies as they take the product and the market into consideration and set the path for the strategies. The market and product are important underlying factors for the strategies. The product is especially important for the choice of entry mode, while the market is highly influential on the pace of internationalization and for which markets the firms choose to target. The firms’ rapid pace of internationalization is enabled by all the factors identified, with founder experience as the most prominent factor. Industry specific experience that the founder team brings with them from earlier work places is especially prominent and crucial for the fast pace of internationalization seen in this study. The dimensions of market selection have fewer affects from the identified factors, but the market in itself does influence the specific choice of which markets and segments to target. Implications of this study are that it is important to continuously attain market knowledge and adapt to market changes. Further, when planning which entry mode to use, it should be taken into account that the product may appeal for a specific entry mode, and use that mode to improve distribution. The characteristics of the founders should be acknowledged to increase awareness of capabilities in the establishment of new start-up companies, in order to fully utilize their capabilities. It could also be beneficial for those who gather founder teams to extensively consider the founder characteristics for the composition of the team.