The objective of this study was to describe the process of internationalization of SMEs and to explore/explain why some becomemore gradual global and some are born global. This is due to the factthat increasing evidence shows that in spite of small size andinexperience in international transactions, high value-addingmanufacturing firms are capable of outperforming their larger, moreresourceful counterparts in foreign markets. The aim was to get moreknowledge about this new type of firm – what characterizes Born Globalsand the internationalization process?
The objective of this study is to describe the process of internationalization of SMEs and to explore/explain why some becomemore gradual global and some are born global. Empirical evidence frommany countries support the notion that firms often internationalize like“rings in the water”; their market knowledge increases gradually andhence uncertainty as well as risk is reduced over time for each countrymarket. However, in 1988 Johanson & Mattson pointed out that somefirms follow other internationalization patterns. They argued that thedegree of internationalization of markets (i.e. the frequency, intensity,and integration of relationships across borders in the particular industrymarket) has an impact on the internationalization process of theindividual firm. In highly internationalized markets, firms may leapfrogsome of the stages or rings in the water. More recently many authors,(f.ex. Oviatt & McDougall, 1994; Knight & Cavusgil, 1996; Madsen et al,1999), have found empirical evidence of yet another type of exportersoften labeled “born globals” (BGs), which aim at the internationalmarkets or even the global market right from their birth and do notseem to follow any kind of stages e.g. they go beyond leapfrogging.