Title: Opening the black box: a comparative case study on international prospectors

Authors: Beate Cesinger; Claudius Habisreutinger; Adriana Danko

Addresses: University of Hohenheim, Wollgrasweg 49, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany; Utrecht University School of Economics (USE), P.O. Box 80125, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands. ' Swiss Research Institute of Small Business, University of St. Gallen, Dufourstr. 40a, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland. ' Dutch Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship (NIKOS), School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, NL-7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Previous research on international new ventures focused on early outward-driven internationalisation. In contrast, the present study focuses upon international prospectors: international new ventures – founded in Germany or Switzerland – which are international from day one, source from Southeast Asia, and sell on the domestic market. Applying a comparative case-study design, our results indicate that, compared to outward-driven early internationalisers, international prospectors are rather low-tech. Similar to outward-driven international new ventures, founders of international prospectors are internationally experienced and cross-culturally educated. Moreover, intimate knowledge of the sourcing country has made them discover and transfer the business opportunity to the domestic market. In addition, we found that sourcing is not a dead end. Rather, international prospectors rapidly engage in exporting as well – making them in turn thoroughly international firms.

Keywords: international new ventures; INVs; international prospectors; international entrepreneurship; Germany; entrepreneurial venturing; Switzerland; cross-cultural education; exporting.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2012.044820

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2012 Vol.4 No.1, pp.77 - 95

Published online: 31 Jul 2014 *

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