Title: Early and accelerated internationalisation: the role of the niche strategy in a new generation of exporters

Authors: Antonella Zucchella; Birgit Hagen; Stefano Denicolai; Monica Masucci

Addresses: Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia, Via San Felice 7, 27100 Pavia, Italy ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia, Via San Felice 7, 27100 Pavia, Italy ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia, Via San Felice 7, 27100 Pavia, Italy ' Department of Business and Management, University of Sussex, Sussex House, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH, UK

Abstract: This study investigates the interplay of firms' business strategies and their export activities, with a special emphasis on the role of niche strategies in the early and fast internationalisation of new and young ventures. By coupling theoretical arguments with case-based empirical evidence, we offer insights on how the niche strategic pattern can influence internationalisation. Furthermore, we discuss the evolution over time of this strategic pattern. Our case evidence sheds light on the mechanism underpinning both the 'niche explorative phase', in which opportunity creation and enactment processes take place, and the 'niche exploitative phase', in which the strategic pattern is refined and supports increasing internationalisation. Our findings uncover the critical role of reputational assets in sustaining over time the global competitive positioning of early and fast exporters.

Keywords: early internationalisation; exporting; business strategy; strategic niches; case studies; accelerated internationalisation; niche strategies; opportunity creation; exports; exploration; exploitation; reputational assets; reputation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEXPORTM.2016.076850

International Journal of Export Marketing, 2016 Vol.1 No.1, pp.27 - 47

Available online: 30 May 2016 *

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