Rapid multinationalization: Propositions for studying born micromultinationals

Heini Vanninen, Olli Kuivalainen, Luciano Ciravegna

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This study examines how so-called born micromultinationals multinationalize. Existing theoretical frameworks do not capture the multinationalization of young and small firms because of the literature gap separating studies on born globals and international new ventures from the research on multinational enterprises. However, firms go beyond accelerated internationalization and engage in accelerated multinationalization. Born micromultinationals invest and operate in multiple countries from, or soon after, their foundation. We argue that it is necessary to examine their smallness, newness and entrepreneurial nature, as suggested in the BG/INV literature, as well as to investigate why and how they invest abroad through the lenses of MNE theories. We discuss existing theories and examine them in the light of four case studies of Finnish born micromultinationals. Our results show that the organizational, locational and internalization approach and transaction costs economics for example, have explanatory power for the FDIs conducted by born micromultinationals. We suggest that the multinationalization process of born mMNEs consists of commitment decisions; reconfigurations of the value chain; and learning from, and creating and building trust with internal sources.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Business Review
Early online date5 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Born globals
  • Born micromultinationals
  • International new ventures
  • International strategy
  • Internationalization
  • Micromultinationals
  • Multinationalization
  • Networks


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