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Competing with the use of business model innovation: an exploratory case study of the journey of born global firms
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. (CiiR)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Business Models, ISSN 2246-2465, Vol. 2, no 1, 33-55 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to investigate how business models are used by born global firms to act upon new business opportunities and how they manage business model innovation over time to prosper and grow.

Design/Methodology: The study is based on three exploratory case studies of born global firms in mobile communication, financial services and digital music distribution.   Findings: Three interrelated capabilities to manage business model innovation are articulated in the context of born global firms; sensing capabilities, entrepreneurial capabilities and relational capabilities and four propositions are formulated. We find that business model innovations are used as a tool by maturing born global firms to navigate the value chains and achieve international growth. We further propose that born global need the capabilities to balance different business model designs simultaneously and to manage its business model innovation in a timely manner.

Originality: This article contributes to both the business model literature and research of international entrepreneurship. By putting business model research into the dynamic context of rapidly internationalizing born global firms, we contribute to the field of business model research with findings of how business models are used in the internationalization processes. Certain capabilities are needed to manage business model innovation for born global firms to dynamically use business models as a tool in the international growth overtime. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 2, no 1, 33-55 p.
Keyword [en]
Internationalization, born global firms, business model innovation, dynamic capabilities
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-90535DOI: 10.5278/ojs.jbm.v2i1.722OAI: diva2:728363
Available from: 2014-06-24 Created: 2014-06-24 Last updated: 2016-09-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Beyond Going Global: Essays on business development of International New Ventures past early internationalization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Beyond Going Global: Essays on business development of International New Ventures past early internationalization
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The notion of International New Ventures, or INVs, emerged in academia in the early-to-mid 1990s and generally refers to entrepreneurial firms that tend to internationalize very early in their life-cycle, and whose expansion into foreign markets occurs much more quickly than predicted by earlier theories of the incremental internationalization process. Previous literature proposes effective networking with market partners and, more recently, internationally viable business model among key distinguishing features of INVs that allow for such early and rapid entry into international markets. Nevertheless, little is yet known regarding how these younger firms develop over time and how they could sustain international growth. With the purpose of filling this gap, this doctoral dissertation scrutinizes business models and business model innovation of INVs beyond their early internationalization, with a particular emphasis on INVs’ external relationships configurations.


The dissertation consists of four self-contained essays that represent a methodological mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches and incorporate longitudinal case studies, surveys and register-based data encompassing nine years of Swedish INVs’ development. The findings highlight the importance of the business model as an initial market entry tool, and of business model innovation as a potential growth vehicle over time. Findings also display that INVs work with a broader range of external partners compared to other firms for innovative purposes, and that INVs have different business model innovation patterns compared to other types of internationalized firms. Moreover, INVs focus more heavily on value capture innovations in their business models as they mature and seek to obtain a more centralized position in their industry ecosystem by re-configuring the parameters of existing external relationships or developing new ones.


Overall, this dissertation contributes to the international entrepreneurship and business model literature by explicating how maturing INVs need to operate under different business model configurations as compared to emerging INVs, as the original business model might lack scalability after a certain point in time. Furthermore, the dissertation suggests how INVs can pursue a dynamic business model approach and utilize dynamic capabilities to design business models that put the focal firm more in control of the surrounding ecosystem, and reduce constraints that can limit the value capturing potential and thus the growth and development of INVs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2016. 78 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 92
International New Ventures, business models, business model innovation, Sweden, business development, international entrepreneurship, internationalization, dynamic capabilities
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-125469 (URN)978-91-7601-546-9 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-10-07, s205, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-09-16 Created: 2016-09-12 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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