Keywords: internationalisation models, small to medium–sized enterprises, SMEs, strategy, entry modes, born globals, exporting, New Zealand, firm sector, firm size, international market scope, market entry, servicing strategies
Models of internationalisation: the New Zealand experience
This paper examines the models of internationalisation adopted by 30 firms from New Zealand. Analysis of the internationalisation model is based on five key dimensions: firm sector and size; international market scope; market entry and servicing strategies; and speed of internationalisation. Drivers and constraints to internationalisation are also considered in the analysis. Evaluation of these dimensions over time finds evidence of both traditional 'stages' and emergent 'born (again) global' models of internationalisation, and reveals that over one third of these firms experience dramatic change to their international activities and resources initiated by divestment or change of ownership. We refer to the alternative internationalisation trajectory adopted by these firms as the 'transformational' model of internationalisation. The paper makes a contribution to the extant literature by providing synthesis of New Zealand firm internationalisation and by building on our understanding of how patterns of internationalisation from a small open economy are changing in response to global environmental pressures.