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10.02.2020

The influence of additive manufacturing on early internationalization: considerations into potential avenues of IE research

Zeitschrift:
Journal of International Entrepreneurship
Autor:
Martin Hannibal
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Abstract

Novel technologies are key enablers for early internationalization. Researchers and experts imply that industry 4.0 (i4.0) technologies will be exploited by existing firms and new ventures to develop radical business models and market revolutionizing products and services, leading to the disruption of global markets. Additive manufacturing (AM) is currently emerging as one of many disruptive i4.0 technologies. This paper provides the first stepping stone for research into the influence of AM on internationalization in the context of new venturing. Reflecting on current technological trends in the global industrial ecosystem, this paper proposes four themes of particular relevance in guiding future research into the influence of AM on new venture internationalization. Firstly, we indicate that research is needed into the emergence of expert AM service providers and the consequent lurking disruption of the current global value chain. Secondly, we suggest research focused on the role of AM in facilitating increased customer interaction and how this impacts networking, which is a key to early internationalization. Thirdly, we highlight the need for research that acknowledges the current challenges to established legislation and institutions to provide insights into how AM technologies influence international new ventures in the age of i4.0. Fourthly, we propose that research is needed into how AM technologies are used by INVs to overcome and capitalize on regional difference in developing products and services. The paper proceeds to conclude on and summarize these themes. Lastly, further less developed avenues of research are explored.

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