Micro-foundations of small business internationalization: introduction to the Special Section

Johanna Vanderstraeten*, Ellen Loots, Anaïs Hamelin, Arjen van Witteloostuijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: We introduce and summarize the selected papers of the Special Section on the “Micro-Foundations of Small Business Internationalization and briefly summarize the state-of-the-art of this literature stream. Design/methodology/approach: We briefly summarize the state-of-the-art of the literature regarding the micro-foundations of small business internationalization. Then, we summarize the selected papers of the Special Section, highlighting their main contributions. We end with suggesting future research avenues. Findings: We move beyond the usual suspects such as gender, education and experience to bring together internationalization studies that open up the individual lens to small business internationalization. To do so, we selected papers examining deeper-level behavioural and psychological constructs impacting the internationalization process, going from internationalization intention to internationalization behaviour and eventually leading to internationalization performance. Originality/value: We stress the importance of the entrepreneur as a person to better understand small business internationalization. We address the current lack of attention attributed to psychological and behavioural drivers (e.g. motives, attitudes, ambitions and aspirations) throughout the internationalization process, and we urge future researchers to further develop this research stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-283
Number of pages19
JournalCross Cultural and Strategic Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2020


  • Entrepreneur
  • Internationalization
  • Micro-foundation
  • Personality
  • Small business
  • SME


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