Founding Entrepreneurs' Characteristics: Impacts on New Ventures’ Internationalization
Multinational Business Review, Forthcoming
33 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2014
Date Written: 2014
One of the main challenges for scholars studying micro-level international expansion is to identify new proxies for firm-specific advantages (FSAs), in lieu of - or in addition to - strengths in R&D/patents and advertising/brand names, and to predict which firms are most likely to engage earlier than other ones in economic activities abroad. We investigate the propensity of new venture firms to internationalize, thereby becoming international new ventures (INVs). We suggest that particular founding entrepreneurs’ characteristics can function as FSAs supporting early internationalization. We empirically test our new conceptual approach using Kauffman firm-level survey data, thereby including 4,928 U.S.-based new businesses founded in 2004. Our results show that three parameters, namely the education level of INV owners, their status/experience as immigrants, and the number of other businesses they started, are closely linked to early new venture internationalization, and can be usefully interpreted as INV FSAs. Recognizing these new types of FSAs confirms internalization theory as the core theory in international business and entrepreneurship studies.
Keywords: firm-specific advantages, international new ventures, INVs, born globals, international entrepreneurship, owner characteristics, internalization theory
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation