‘Stage’ theories and their accompanying models proliferate in the internationalization and broader international business literature (Vernon, 1966; Wells, 1968; Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul, 1975; Pavord and Bogart, 1975; Bilkey and Tesar, 1977; Khan, 1978; Cavusgil, 1980; Czinkota, 1982). These suggest that the process of ‘going abroad’ involves a (logical) sequence of international development steps. The problem with these conceptualizations is, first, that attempts to simplify complexity have resulted in oversimplified perspectives that have subsequently been accepted — almost, without question — as irrefutable fact; secondly, that such blind obeisance has obfuscated the truth regarding the actual processes involved. Indeed, most models — notably, those involving life-cycle theories — suffer from limitations concerning time-scales (Giddy, 1978). Moreover, their ability to delineate boundaries between stages or adequately explain the processes which lead to movement between stages is rather limited (Andersen, 1993).
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