Journal article
How Digitalization Changes the Internationalization of Entrepreneurial Firms: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence

Publication Details
Wittkop, A.; Zulauf, K.; Wagner, R.
Publication year:
Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy
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The internationalization of firms has mainly been analyzed and
explained by considering observations in a pre-digital business
environment. Thus, the applicability of the internationalization
theories to digital ways of conducting business needs to be challenged.
Recent research 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 of how internet-based companies internationalize in the
digital market and why their internationalization processes differ from
one another. Based on an overview of the specificities of the digital
marketplace and their impacts on the applicability of the traditional
international business theories, we develop a differentiated view of
digital internationalization. Subsequently, the theoretical results are
compared with primary data derived from six semi-structured interviews
with representatives of digital companies. So far, the business
internationalization theory has focused on variables such as
efficiencies of the value chain, internal capabilities, and resource
endowments. Our results show that even if these theories still have high
impacts on the internationalization strategies of internet-based
companies, in the highly dynamic digital markets, further variables need
to be considered. In addition to the impacts of value creation and
delivery infrastructure (e.g., firm-specific capabilities and
resources), the specific way of creating value and the individual
customer interface used by a digital business play key roles in digital

Last updated on 2019-17-06 at 11:24