The antecedents of early internationalization: A configurational perspective
The literature on international business and international entrepreneurship provides multiple explanations for early internationalization. Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, this study examines the antecedents of early internationalization for small firms based in a small economy, focusing on entrepreneurs’ attitudes toward the economic opportunities available in their domestic market, the risk of internationalizing, and the profitability of entering foreign markets. Three additional antecedents are examined: unsolicited orders, existence of underutilized capacity, and the behavior of competitors. The study uncovers three distinct combinations of antecedents that are equifinally linked to the early internationalization of small enterprises, and contributes to the literature through a multi-causal, configurational approach.