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The Networking Born Globals: An Exploratory Study of how Swedish Born Global Software Firms use Networks when Internationalizing
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this thesis was to investigate how networking is influenced by the choice of internationalization strategy of software firms with a born global mindset. To achieve this purpose, the following research questions were answered:

  1. How applicable is previous research on traditional internationalization strategies to born global software firms?
  2. How does networking vary between the different choices of internationalization strategy for born global software firms?

Method – The research philosophy of this thesis was interpretivistic, supported by an abductive qualitative multi-method approach of exploratory character. Additionally, the data collection methods were literature studies, interviews and documentation conducted from six case companies. The collected data form the base of the developed networking and internationalization model which serves to support the general understanding of how born global software firms can internationalize and use networks to benefit their operations.

Findings – By forming clusters and looking into how networking varies between the different choices of internationalization strategy, several types of internationalization strategies of born global software firms were identified, these being referred to as Nascent Global, Cautiously Global, Regionally Global and Instantly Global. Additionally, the results show that it is the choice of internationalization strategy that influences the choice of the networking activity. Nascent Global firms are firms who has not yet launched their service or decided upon internationalization strategy, they mostly network in order to strategize and plan; Cautiously Global firms operates nationally or have recently internationalized into another country, for them the networking focus lies on the process of learning to minimize the risk of mistakes or failure; Regionally Global firms are internationalizing incrementally with a regional focus and networking to access sources of knowledge; Instantly Global firms are those who are global right from inception where the focus is targeted at growth opportunities. Moreover, the findings show that Instantly Global firms are the ones that truly contradict traditional theory on internationalization strategies.

Research limitations – The first limitation of this study is that we have solely focused on networking from the firm’s perspective and have not gone into the actual external network of each firm. Additionally, it would be appropriate to include a larger amount of case companies, in order to increase the level of generalizability. Nevertheless, due to limitations concerning the scale of work and time-constraints, six case companies were included.

Further research – If practitioners would conduct a similar investigation of born global software firms, it would be interesting to conduct a quantitative study, analyzing potential linkages between the use of networks and internationalization. Also, since this study was cross-sectional, opportunities exist of conducting a longitudinal study, looking into how born global software firms change over time. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 66 p.
Keyword [en]
Internationalization, internationalization strategy, born global, small software firms, born global software firms, software services, software products, networks, international networks
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30284ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160290OAI: diva2:933587
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2016-07-07 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2016-07-07Bibliographically approved

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