Conference proceedings article
How digitalization changes the internationalization of entrepreneurial firms: theoretical considerations and empirical evidence

Publication Details
Wittkop, A.; Zulauf, K.; Wagner, R.
Zbuchea, A.
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Book title:
Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities for the 21st.


The internationalization of firms is predominantly analyzed and explained considering observations from a pre-digital business environment. Thus, the applicability to digital ways of doing business needs to be challenged. Recent literature on the internationalization of digital firms attempts to adapt existing international business literature to the digital market. However, these studies consider internet-based companies predominantly as a homogeneous group. It is a popular opinion, that digital internationalization is faster, cheaper and easier for digital companies. The purpose of this article is to develop a comprehensive understanding on how internet-based companies internationalize in the digital market, and why their internationalization processes differ from each other. Based on an overview on the specificities of the digital marketplace, their impact on the applicability of traditional international business theory, it is developed a differentiated view on digital internationalization. Subsequently, the theoretical results are compared with primary data derived from six semi-structured interviews with digital companies. So far, firm internationalization theory focused on variables like the internal capabilities, resource endowments or efficiencies of the value chain. It is shown, that even if these theories still have a high impact on the internationalization strategies of internet-based companies, especially in the extremely dynamic digital market, also further variables need to be considered. Additionally, to the impacts of the value creation and delivery infrastructure (e.g., firm specific capabilities and resources), also the specific way of creating value and the individual customer interface of digital businesses play a key role in digital internationalization.

Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 10:16

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