Title: The influence of the entrepreneur's background on the behaviour and development of born globals' internationalisation processes

Authors: Navid Ghannad; Svante Andersson

Addresses: School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, Box 823, S-301 18 Halmstad, Sweden. ' School of Business and Engineering, Halmstad University, Box 823, S-301 18 Halmstad, Sweden

Abstract: While much of the research on small firm internationalisation has concentrated on export strategies, little attention has been paid to understanding the process and conditions under which the entrepreneur identifies and exploits an opportunity. The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between the entrepreneur's prior life story and the development and behaviour of his or her born global firm. Six years of intense qualitative field research, including 108 interviews from three entrepreneurial 'born global' firms are compared and contrasted within our theoretical framework. In this study empirical evidence suggests that a person's childhood and prior life story directly influences the behaviour of the entrepreneur. We propose that different types of entrepreneurs are important factors to understand firms' different internationalisation patterns. Depending on the backgrounds of the entrepreneurs, they developed preferences, skills, and especially desires that will affect the total behaviour of their future organisations.

Keywords: born global; childhood experiences; entrepreneur backgrounds; export strategies; opportunity exploitation; opportunities; opportunity identification; prior lives; life stories; entrepreneurial behaviour; global firms; globalisation; entrepreneurial preferences; entrepreneurial skills; entrepreneurial desires; total behaviour; Sweden; Polaris optic; rimless eyewear; spectacles; Index Braille; printers; Liko; lifts; transfer equipment; impaired mobility; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; international entrepreneurship; internationalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.045201

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.15 No.2, pp.136 - 153

Published online: 31 Jan 2012 *

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