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Customer Value Creation in Mature Born Globals
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for International Marketing and Entrepreneurship Research (CIMER).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8194-2053
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for International Marketing and Entrepreneurship Research (CIMER).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0554-9591
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for International Marketing and Entrepreneurship Research (CIMER).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0419-8654
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for International Marketing and Entrepreneurship Research (CIMER).
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

INTRODUCTION

Research on firms that already from their inception see the whole world as a market and/or the whole world as a source to access resources, so called born globals (Andersson & Wictor, 2003, Knight & Cavusgil, 2004; Cavusgil & Knight, 2015), has been growing during the last decades  (Servantie, 2016). Born globals are an especially interesting group of firms to study, in regard of value creation, as they have been able to create competitive offers fulfilling the needs of customers on global markets.

 The distinguishing feature of born globals is their international behaviour at birth and soon thereafter. The firms’ behaviour is initiated by the entrepreneurs’ and management’s global mindset and the commitment of resources leading to international growth (Andersson, 2000; Knight & Causgil, 2004). Born globals is, by definition, a born global firm “forever”, as has been characterized by their early years.  We argue that the early years make these firms a special type of firms that will influence their further international development. Firms with a long-term focus on the domestic market must unlearn routines rooted in the domestic context before new, internationally oriented routines can be learned. An early entrance to international markets forces born globals to adopt to new contexts and create new knowledge that leads to new routines and creates a culture in the firms to adapt to new international opportunities (Andersson & Evers, 2015; Autio et al ., 2000, Cavusgil & Knight, 2004).

There has been extensive research on born globals’ internationalization dealing with which markets, and market channels firms should choose to grow internationally. There has also been extensive research dealing with antecedents and factors influencing these choices. The focus on born global research has also been on the very early stages in the internationalization process. Few studies have captured the long-term behaviour and growth of born globals (2008; Gabrielsson and Gabrielsson, 2013, Melen Hånell, Nordman and Sharma, 2014). A question that has been very little addressed is: what happens to born global firms when they grow up (Cavusgil & Knight, 2015)? In this study we define this grown up born global firms as mature born globals (c. f. Hagen & Zuchella, 2014, maturing born global firms). To succeed with a continued international expansion, the born global firms need to increase sales on international markets. The underlying reason for success on international markets and continuous growth is that the mature born global firms have an offer that gives higher value to the customer than their competitors. However customer value is not explicitly treated in internationalization theories (Axinn & Matthyssen, 2002). To our knowledge there has not been any research that has, in- depth, explored how mature born globals create value for customers to create international growth. In line with the above discussion, the aim of this study is to investigate how mature born global firms create value for customers to create international growth.

METHOD

A qualitative approach has been adopted to enable us to investigate, in-depth, an under-researched area (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2010; and Yin, 1989) “how born global firms create value for customers to create international growth”. In all, the study was conducted with five companies. The key factor underpinning the selection of the five cases was conceptual relevance rather than representative grounds, so we used theoretical sampling (Miles and Huberman 1994). We conducted a review of annual reports, other secondary documentation, and the websites of the case firms. We combined secondary data research and field interviews and workshops with the CEOs in the case firms. The researchers constructed an interview-guide based on earlier literature and discussion on a works-shop. Interviews were carried out with the five CEOs and transcribed. Data analysis included several steps. The information from the interviews, and other sources served as descriptive narratives, which helped us process the large volume of data (Mintzberg and McHugh 1985). This process enabled the unique patterns of each case to emerge before cross-case comparison (Eisenhardt 1989; Yin 1994) was undertaken. Our aim and research question served as the basic structure for data analysis.

CONCLUSIONS

We conclude that a strong focus on customer value creation was in focus. To create customer value a combination of proactive and reactive market orientation was implemented built on a competitive offer that was hard to replicate. Depending on the characteristics of the buyer-seller relationship different tools were used to build relationship value. The revenue earned is invested in further international growth, by investing in market driving activities, and entrepreneurial alertness to act on upcoming opportunities was crucial. This study contributes to the international entrepreneurship field by explicitly including marketing literature and empirically investigating how value is created to achieve international growth in born globals. This study also contributes to the industrial marketing field by developing a model that shows how born global firms create value for international customers to generate international growth in a B2B context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Born Globals, value creation, international growth, customer value, marketing orientation, trust
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-34879OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-34879DiVA: diva2:1138362
Conference
The 21st McGill International Entrepreneurship conference, Galway, Ireland, Aug. 30th - Sept. 1st, 2017
Projects
KK - International Growth in Born Globals
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2017-09-05 Created: 2017-09-05 Last updated: 2017-09-08Bibliographically approved

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