Identifying Firm-Specific Factors in the Internationalization of US Internet Firms
University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business
Frank T. Rothaermel
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Washington - Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 769-791, 2001
By providing a nearly instant connection among parties at opposite corners of the world and enabling a variety of commercial exchanges, the Internet has emerged as the technology expected to create a truly global market space. Internet firms face the challenge of capitalizing on this development. In this paper we examine what firm-specific factors are associated with the propensity of pure US-based Internet firms to enhance their international presence on the Internet by developing country-specific websites. Despite the assertion that all Internet firms are born global, our findings show that the pursuit of internationalization by Internet firms is related to the levels of their intangible assets and strategic activity. Two of our operationalizations of intangible assets - reputation and website traffic - are positively related to the degree of internationalization; so are the levels of competitive and cooperative activity, and the interaction effects between reputation and competitive and cooperative activity. These findings suggest that ideas from both resource-based theory and research on competitive dynamics can contribute to understanding the internationalization of Internet firms.
Keywords: International market entry, tangible and intangible resources, strategic actions, internet firms
JEL Classification: L14, L15, M1, M13, O31, O32, O33, R1Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 19, 2004
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