From stages to phases, a theory of small developing country internationalization

Nigel Williams, T. Ridgman, Y. Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing research in firm internationalization tends to adopt the perspective of relatively fixed country specific advantages and disadvantages. However, firms operating from small developing countries may experience rapidly shifting country-specific advantages due to industrial policy interventions. These changes influence the internal configuration and, ultimately, the internationalization paths of firms, a factor that is not captured by current theory. Using a combination of a country case study and nested multiple firm cases, data were collected on how organizations internationalized from Trinidad and Tobago, a small developing country. Unlike the relatively deterministic outward patterns predicted by existing theories, analysis revealed both evolutionary and co-evolutionary trajectories of development. These outcomes suggest that as a country moves to more open economic environment, network connections in the form of supplier and institutional relationships are of increased value for firms seeking to enter external markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-298
Number of pages28
JournalAdvances in International Management
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2011


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