Internationalization Revisited: The Big Step Hypothesis

Torben Pedersen, Myles Shaver

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    We refine internationalization theory by hypothesizing that international expansion is a discontinuous process characterized by an initial ‘big step.’ Firms have to build an infrastructure (e.g., architecture, management systems, and mind-set) to support international operations the first time they venture abroad, and subsequent international operations are able to leverage this infrastructure. Thus, we hypothesize that the internationalization process is characterized by: (1) firms taking a long period to make their first international investment; and (2) firms taking shorter but constant periods for subsequent investments. We examine the international expansion activities of 176 Danish firms and find support for these arguments.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalGlobal Strategy Journal
    Issue number3-4
    Pages (from-to)263-274
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Internationalization
    • Foreign Direct Investment
    • Management Infrastruture
    • Event History Analysis
    • Denmark

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