Title: The role of international experience in business models of SMEs - evidence from software companies

Authors: Liisa-Maija Sainio; Sami Saarenketo; Sanjit Sengupta; Petri Ahokangas; Mikko Laaksolahti

Addresses: School of Business Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland ' School of Business Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland ' College of Business, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco CA 94132, USA ' Oulu Business School University of Oulu, P.O.Box 4600, Oulu, Finland ' Business Development, Invest in Finland, Finpro Ry, Porkkalankatu 1, FI-00180 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: This paper examines the role of international experience in value creation in business models in internationalising software SME's. While business models as such have been subject to extensive research their study in the context of international entrepreneurial firms has remained scant. The empirical part of the paper focuses on eight Finnish international entrepreneurial software companies. The findings suggest that business models of software companies incorporate many similarities. However, the degree of international experience seems to influence the companies' value creation and the way they organise their activities both upstream and downstream of their value chains. Moreover, as international experience grows the firms tend to outsource more of their core activities, affecting the business model design.

Keywords: business models; international experience; value creation; software SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; software development; international entrepreneurship; software industry; internationalisation; value chain; Finland; outsourcing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2015.068588

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2015 Vol.10 No.2, pp.137 - 159

Available online: 29 Mar 2015 *

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