Early internationalizing firms: 2004–2018
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Journal of International Entrepreneurship
· DOI :10.1007/s10843-018-0241-8
The literature on early internationalization has evolved rapidly in the last few decades. Firms that achieve early and rapid internationalization have emerged as newcomers in the international arena. Disclosed in the late 1980s, international new ventures and born globals today are well known by academics, practitioners, and policymakers. However, the rapid evolution of literature on this topic has produced a considerable corpus of articles in just a few years, discouraging the realization of iterative and thematic analyses. Existing reviews have analyzed the first decade of research or some peculiar aspects of early internationalizing firms or have been focused on the wider international entrepreneurship domain. This article complements previous studies by reviewing the literature on early internationalizing firms over the years 2004–2018. The authors develop a systematic review of 280 studies investigating born globals, international new ventures, and early internationalizing firms that were published in leading journals in the field of international entrepreneurship. The goals of the review are as follows: to describe the state of the art of the literature on early internationalizing firms, to identify the themes that recurred during this period, and to highlight trends and future research perspectives in the field. As one of the implications, this study aims at serving as a summary and starting point for scholars and practitioners interested in early internationalization phenomenon.