Competing theories explain the timing of internationalization and its implications. In this study, we propose that the timing stems from complex combinations of drivers, and provide a typology of strategic types of internationalization in relation to these drivers: entrepreneurial, serendipitous, and strategic internationalization. We discuss how these strategic types affect the subsequent outcomes of internationalization. Strategic internationalizers choose markets and entry modes using economic rationale, often becoming multinational enterprises. Entrepreneurial internationalizers expand in ways that mirror entrepreneurial features, which may lead them to become multinationals, change business models, or continue expanding within their region. Serendipitous internationalizers may not be ready for international expansion, and may de-internationalize after an initial spurt, or continue a learning process and grow as exporters. We study the internationalization strategy of information technology exporters from Costa Rica.

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Keywords Timing of internationalization, Multi-nationalization, Outcomes of internationalization, Mixed methods, Latin America, Costa Rica
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Series INCAE Top Articles
Journal Journal of Business Research
Ciravegna, L, López, L, Kundu, S., & Kuivalainen, O. (2018). The Timing of Internationalization – Drivers and Outcomes. Journal of Business Research. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.08.006