A Study of Internationalization of Danish Professional Services Firms

Christoffer August Laub Tofte

Student thesis: Master thesis


Due to the rapid acceleration of globalization, and the inevitable correlation between globalization and internationalization of firms, it has become extremely disseminated to follow the trend of utilizing opportunities in the international markets. The dissemination of internationalization has changed the competitive dynamics, and firms routinely misestimate the attractiveness of being present in a foreign country. Research shows that the most frequent cause to misestimating a market’s attractiveness is a generalization of the crucial factors that influence internationalization. This Master Thesis explores how Danish firms within the specific industry of professional services can increase the ability to assess the attractiveness of international markets and select the specific market with highest potential for success. Hence, the aim is to provide business managers within the industry of professional services with a conceptual framework that can help them avoid misestimating the attractiveness of international markets. To provide an adequate answer to the problem statement, this exploratory study adopts a pragmatic combination of inductive, deductive, and abductive reasoning. As the three paradigms are able to neutralize each other's limitations, this pragmatic combination enables a comprehensive and complete collection and analysis of data. Additionally, this combination enables a favorable mix of qualitative and quantitates data. The quantitative data is incorporated in those sections of the paper that benefit from an objective numerical approach, whereas the qualitative data are utilized to gain a comprehensive in-debt understanding of the industry of professional services. The primary data of this paper has been gathered by conducting qualitative interviews of two case firms and one expert within internationalization of professional services firms. In order to provide the business managers with a conceptual framework that facilitates effective screening of international markets, it is crucial to understand the prominent factors that influence internationalization of professional services firms. With a thorough knowledge of the phenomenon of internationalization, the three utmost important factors that influence internationalization of professional services firms are Cultural distance, Geographical distance, and Importance of national and foreign networks. Consequently, ignorance of these factors increases the risk of misestimating a market’s attractiveness significantly. These three factors are transferred to the conceptual framework that, in collaboration with the Confederation of Danish Industry, developed a three-step screening model that professional services firms can utilize to effectively assess international markets’ attractiveness and select the utmost promising market to penetrate.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Business Administration, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages96