From a study following two sequential on-site data collection stages at 618 internationalising SMEs in Sweden, Poland and China, we identify and validate four distinct international knowledge acquisition strategies. In contrast to traditional theories suggesting that firms develop capabilities by generating their own experience, we show that Grafters and Pragmatists have a higher speed of international capability development than Experiencers and Networkers. Subsequently, by drawing on capability development theory, we show that the speed of capability development has a curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) effect on the speed of spread between international markets. These findings have consequences both for practitioners and theory.
|Number of pages
|International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship
|Early online date
|16 Apr 2020
|Published - 1 Sep 2020