Cycles of de-internationalization and re-internationalization: Towards an integrative framework

Mario Kafouros, S. Tamer Cavusgil, Timothy M. Devinney, Panagiotis Ganotakis, Stav Fainshmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Internationalization is a complex process that is neither always forward moving nor monotonic. Firms often reduce the depth and scope of their international footprint or even completely withdraw from foreign markets. Although scholars have recognized that there are cycles of de-internationalization and re-internationalization (and increasingly pressures for back-shoring), the antecedents and motivators for these internationalization pathways have received limited attention. In this study, we first review prior explanations as to why firm behaviour exhibits cycles of de-internationalization and re-internationalization. We then formulate an integrative framework and propose a comprehensive agenda for future research aimed at advancing internationalization theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101257
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number1
Early online date9 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Back-shoring
  • De-internationalization
  • Divestment
  • Internationalization theory
  • Market exit
  • Market re-entry
  • Re-internationalization


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