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The entrepreneur in the Born global Firm in Australia and Sweden
Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET), Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Centre for Technology, Innovation and Marketing Management (CTIM2).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8194-2053
School of Marketing and International Business University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2004 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The most common denominator in Born Global research is probably the importance of the entrepreneur. Following these results this article will go deeper into how the entrepreneur influences the development of a born global firm. Studies have been carried out in many countries. To be able to draw conclusions on how the national context influences the Born Global phenomenon, this study compares findings from both Australia and Sweden.

Although there are many studies that have identified the impact of entrepreneurs and management on firms’ internationalisation, there is still a need for more research to enhance the understanding of born global firms’ international behaviour. This study aims to go one step further and try to do a more fine-grained analysis. How do entrepreneurs influence the development of Born Global firms in Australia and Sweden? Through a literature review the following points were identified:

  • Number of people in the top management team
  • International experience and industry experience
  • Marketing/Technical entrepreneur and active/reactive internationalization strategy
  • Global mindset
  • Personal network

Method

A case approach was considered as the most appropriate to catch the complexity of the Born Global phenomenon. The case studies are mainly built on personal interviews but complemented with secondary data, such as business magazines, annual reports and internal documents. We interviewed the entrepreneurs that were involved in the founding of the Born Global companies.

The analysis of the data included several steps. The information from interviews and other sources were written down in descriptive narratives. This process allows the researcher to become intimately familiar with each case and allows the unique patterns of each case to emerge before cross-case comparison. To find common patterns, the cases were compared in terms of the issues identified in the literature review. Earlier theoretical findings were compared with the international development in the Australian and Swedish born global firms. Differences and similarities were discussed.

Conclusions

In this study we have shown the importance of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams for the rapid internationalization of firms in Australia and Sweden. We can conclude that there were no big differences between the developments of the Born Global firms in the two countries. However one interesting difference turned up. In Australia the country image was negative for selling high-tech products within Australia. The country image has an impact on the company for go abroad. In this case it seemed like the country image was more negative within Australia than overseas. In Sweden, the country image was not a problem for the types of product studied. However, in the Swedish medical II case the company had problem to sell their product within Sweden. It has been very hard to get the product financed by the national health care system in Sweden, as the product cannot be classified as medicine or as a mean for disabled. In Germany this was not a problem. This shows that national differences still exists and it is important to deal with them to succeed. The entrepreneurs in the Born Global firms do not see these problems on the home market as discouraging but go on to fin markets overseas.

In this study we have focused on the entrepreneurs and found two different types. One common type of Born Global entrepreneur is the experienced employee, who works in a large organization and has ambitions and ideas that he found that he cannot fulfill in the large organisation. He is keen on starting a new business on his own or together with others who share his ideas and ambitions. The other is the younger, not so experienced, but ambitious with new ideas. He/she doesn’t want to be a part of a large organization, but want to fulfill his ideas in an own organisation. Both these types of entrepreneurs have a global mindset that they have acquired in different ways.

There is also a difference between marketing and technical entrepreneurs. Even if Born Global entrepreneurs have interests and skills in both these areas they are often most interested in one of these areas. In High-tech industries a fast internationalization can be possible without an active internationalization, as the high-tech product often is very specialized and the home market is too small in countries as Sweden and Australia. Internationalization does not have to be an issue in the founding process in a Born Global firm. In a more mature industry, however, an active internationalization is necessary to expand abroad.

The personal networks were very important for the entrepreneurs in the Born Global firms. The entrepreneurs with industry experience could use their contacts to expand their own business. Personal networks were also important to secure finance and to find partners in other areas. When the Born Global firms are created they are small with few financial resources. To be able to expand abroad they must cooperate with many others and these partners are found in personal networks

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004.
Keywords [en]
Firms, Australia, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-3961OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-3961DiVA, id: diva2:300283
Conference
4th Biennial McGill Conference on International Entrepreneurship: Researching New Frontiers, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, September 17 - 20, 2004
Available from: 2010-02-25 Created: 2010-02-25 Last updated: 2013-11-19Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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