Digitalization of companies in international entrepreneurship and marketing

Ioan-iustin Vadana, Lasse Torkkeli, Olli Kuivalainen, Sami Saarenketo

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Little research has been done on the emergence of companies that engage in increasingly digital entrepreneurship with digitalized value-chain activities. The purpose of this paper is provide a consistent picture of how value-chain digitalization affects companies’ internationalization and international marketing (IM), and give insights regarding the influence of the degree of value-chain digitalization on the level of internationalization.

This paper takes an explorative approach based on a literature review and uses a conceptual analysis and research framework to empirically classify digitalized/-ing companies.

This study finds ways to classify the internationalization of companies according to the degree of digitalization of their value-chain. The more these companies use internet hardware infrastructure and web and mobile software technologies, the better they can leverage their foreign assets, achieving a higher share of foreign sales with relatively limited foreign assets.

Research limitations/implications
The results enrich the literature on internationalization and IM and entrepreneurship to explain companies that are distinctly digitalized across their value-chain activities.

Practical implications
This research provides evidence for companies regarding digitalization of the value-chain to facilitate entrepreneurial opportunities and offer rapid, efficient and affordable internationalization.

This research tackles a novel phenomenon by analyzing companies’ value-chain digitalization in relation to their degree of internationalization and IM.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Early online date5 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • International marketing
  • Internationalization
  • Digitalization
  • Web
  • Born-digital
  • Value-chain


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