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Born Globals and Accidental Internationalists: Has Hennart (2014) Opened a Can of Worms?
Review of International Business and Strategy (2017)
  • Douglas Dow
Abstract
Purpose:      This paper is a response to Hennart's (2014) challenge to the existing born global literature. In his challenge, Hennart proposes a simpler explanation of why some firms internationalize earlier and more aggressively than others. However, such a parsimonious model of born global firms raises the awkward question of whether born global firms are indeed any different from firms that internationalize more gradually.

Design:        Using two extensive surveys of Australian exporters, this paper first explores the degree to which a set of six 'facilitating factors' that Hennart puts forward are different across born global and non-born global firms. Next, it tests the second aspect of the debate highlighted above – i.e. whether born global firms behave differently from non-born global firms. This is done by testing for differences in the patterns of early market selection for born global and non-born global firms.

Findings:     Support is found for both the role of facilitating factors, and for the view that born global firms behave differently from non-born global firms. As a result it is proposed that the Hennart and the RBV-oriented explanations of born global firms need to be viewed as complementary, rather than competing. Each may represent a necessary but not sufficient condition with respect to born global firms.

Originality: A systematic testing for differences in facilitating factors and market selection patterns across born global and non-born global firms are both issues that have major implications for the born global literature, and yet have been left largely unexplored to date.
Keywords
  • born global,
  • International new ventures,
  • market selection
Publication Date
May 4, 2017
Citation Information
Douglas Dow. "Born Globals and Accidental Internationalists: Has Hennart (2014) Opened a Can of Worms?" Review of International Business and Strategy Vol. forthcoming (2017)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/douglas_dow/30/