A new study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland shows that digital entrepreneurship in the international context requires networking of the right kind. Published in Management International Review, the study investigated internationalisation among inexperienced, yet digitally talented entrepreneurial teams. The researchers analysed entrepreneurs who did not have prior experience and knowledge of internationalisation, nor the required networks.
“Digital international entrepreneurship is a skill where entrepreneurs must not only create a digital business model, but also manage digital networking. Our study shows how it can be done,” Professor Mika Gabrielsson of the University of Eastern Finland says.
The study, conducted by Mika Gabrielsson, Project Researcher Markus Raatikainen and Professor Saara Julkunen, shows that internationalisation requires firms to have excellent knowledge of the substance, as well as transparency and the courage to give room for new and unexpected opportunities in decision-making.
“It also requires entrepreneurs to be active and persistent in building diverse networks, and constant readiness to learn new things. This kind of entrepreneurship also creates repeated opportunities for adjusting the course of business if the path chosen brings challenges rather than success,” Professor Saara Julkunen of the University of Eastern Finland says.
The University of Eastern Finland has a long history of research into the internationalisation of growth firms. In the current study, the researchers developed a digitalisation-driven networking model that is based on the network and effectuation theory.
“Our research group’s understanding of digital, born global firms has kept on growing, and we now see ourselves as global pioneers on this front,” Gabrielsson notes.
Management International Review