Towards a New Agenda for the Study of Business Internationalization: Integrating Markets, Institutions and Politics

62 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2010

See all articles by Suzana B. Rodrigues

Suzana B. Rodrigues

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

Date Written: June 17, 2010


Business is becoming increasingly international. At the same time, governments are intervening more in the conduct of business. A further development is the growing significance of emerging economies, many of which have a tradition of active government involvement with business. Taken together, these trends make it imperative to understand the relationships between firms and their institutional contexts. Conventional theories adopt an over-rationalized view of these relationships international business. Their apolitical perspective misses the fact that in order to build and maintain international operations, firms need to develop political relations with governments and institutions in home countries and abroad.The aim of this lecture is to develop an alternative perspective with particular reference to the internationalization of firms, large and small. This considers how multinationals gain international positions through bargaining power with foreign governments. By contrast, SMEs face liabilities in dealing with foreign governments and instead often have to achieve internationalization through networking with other SMEs, with domestic communities and support agencies via various forms of social innovation. The lecture concludes that political and social innovation perspectives open new research avenues in the field of international business.

Keywords: politics, multinationals, co-evolution, internationalization, environment, bargaining power, evolution, influence, institutions, markets, small and medium enterprises, social innovation

JEL Classification: D21, M, K2, N2, L20, G18, M16

Suggested Citation

Rodrigues, Suzana B., Towards a New Agenda for the Study of Business Internationalization: Integrating Markets, Institutions and Politics (June 17, 2010). ERIM Report Series Reference No. EIA-2010-043-STR, Available at SSRN:

Suzana B. Rodrigues (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

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