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03-06-2019 | Issue 3/2020

Small Business Economics 3/2020

Effectuation and internationalisation: a review and agenda for future research

Journal:
Small Business Economics > Issue 3/2020
Authors:
Masoud Karami, Ben Wooliscroft, Lisa McNeill
Important notes
Farid ud-din Attar a twelfth-century Persian poet in “Conference of the birds” describes the assembly of the birds and their journey to search for the bird-king, the Sīmorḡ bird (Phoenix), knowing that to find the Sīmorḡ they have to undertake an arduous journey. In the end of the journey only thirty birds (Sī morḡ) remain and they realise that the Sīmorḡ is their own selves ( Reinert n.d. ).

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Abstract

Effectuation theory has been increasingly applied in research examining the internationalisation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study systematically reviews the SME internationalisation literature to clarify the ways effectuation theory helps international entrepreneurship (IE) scholarship respond to key questions of how international opportunities are developed. The review identified central topics of limited resources, networking, and an unplanned approach, which connect effectuation with extant internationalisation research. In so doing, the study offers two contributions. The first is an articulation of effectual mechanisms at work in IE opportunity development. The second offers insights back to effectuation theory regarding the context of IE and potential areas for improving the application of effectuation to IE research. We close with implications and an agenda for future research.

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