The antecedents of early internationalization: A configurational perspective

Luciano Ciravegna, Olli Kuivalainen, Sumit K. Kundu, Luis E. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The literature on international business and international entrepreneurship provides multiple explanations for early internationalization. Using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, this study examines the antecedents of early internationalization for small firms based in a small economy, focusing on entrepreneurs’ attitudes toward the economic opportunities available in their domestic market, the risk of internationalizing, and the profitability of entering foreign markets. Three additional antecedents are examined: unsolicited orders, existence of underutilized capacity, and the behavior of competitors. The study uncovers three distinct combinations of antecedents that are equifinally linked to the early internationalization of small enterprises, and contributes to the literature through a multi-causal, configurational approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1212
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number6
Early online date2 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Early internationalization
  • International entrepreneurship
  • Antecedents of internationalization
  • Small enterprises
  • Qualitative comparative analysis
  • Configurational approach


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