Kendt teori på ukendt grund: En nutidig servicetilgang til Uppssalamodellen, The Transaction Cost Approach og The Network Model

Rasmus Offenberg & Kristian Gregers Bruun

Student thesis: Master thesis


The study investigates the degree of applicability for three acknowledged internationalization theories in a service firm perspective. This is deeply rooted in the fact that all three theories were developed on the basis of manufacturing companies in a time were information technology, compared with today, had little influence on industrial behaviour and development. Therefore we began to wonder; are these theories still able to describe the internationalisation process of service firms today? The corporate landscape for internationalization, as well as the service industry, has changed dramatically over the last 20 - 30 years and service companies are facing an ever more globalised and competitive world. As a consequence, many internationalization theories have received a substantial amount of criticism and several leading service theorists have pointed out the lack of empirical studies for service firms in this context. To help explore the statement we have conducted interviews with top-level managers within two service firms and transferred the results into a qualitative case study. This study will make us able to “test” the conclusions of our prior theoretical discussion thereby making us able to, critically, relate to the way in which the theories are transferred in our two cases. However, it should be noted that the nature of this study is mainly deductive and aims to test the applicability of the theories in these two specific cases and hence, not necessarily be transferable to other companies or industries. The overall conclusion tells the story of three theories that are clearly characterized by the internationalization process of manufacturing firms. None of the theories take into account the complex value chain of service firms or the need for local presence when entering foreign markets. However, it is evident in both The Network Model and The Uppsala Model that a greater focus on network, leads to a greater applicability for service firms, regardless of company size. This indicates that the The Network Model has the best prerequisites for describing the internationalization process of the case study. The stage aspect of the Uppsala Model and the economical assumptions and resource-based views of the Transaction Cost Approach make these two remaining theories inapplicable in the case of both Sproom and SOS International.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages147