Born internationals: Market expansion and business operation mode strategies in the digital media field

Mika Gabrielsson*, Tommi Pelkonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines leading Swedish and Finnish Internet consultancies operating in the digital media service field. These are 'born international' firms that internationalise their business at an exceptionally rapid pace. The paper focuses on why and to what extent the market expansion and business operation mode strategies of these companies deviate from the traditional pattern depicted by the Scandinavian process school. The empirical data consisted of interviews with the founder and senior management and secondary data from company and public archives. The research findings show that in fact both the international new venture research and the Scandinavian internationalisation model appear to be valid. The former model was evidenced by the fact that the born internationals indeed deviated from the behaviour of the traditional firms. The latter was exemplified by the fact that the final internationalisation profile, after the withdrawals of firms from unsuccessful markets, was close to what the Scandinavian internationalisation model would call 'rational' expansion. Hence, if the investigation period is long enough to account for unsuccessful endeavours and withdrawals, we may then find empirical support for the traditional model as well. To be reliable, the investigation period should cover at least one economic slow down.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of International Entrepreneurship
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)49-71
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Born international
  • Digital media service business
  • International business operation modes
  • International market expansion
  • Internet consultancies


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