Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm

Gary A. Knight*, S. Tamar Cavusgil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1871 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate born-global firms as early adopters of internationalization - that is, companies that expand into foreign markets and exhibit international business prowess and superior performance, from or near their founding. Our explication highlights the critical role of innovative culture, as well as knowledge and capabilities, in this unique breed of international, entrepreneurial firm. Case studies are analyzed to better understand the early internationalization phenomenon and reveal key orientations and strategies that engender international success among these innovative firms. Case findings are then validated in a survey-based study. Despite the scarce resources typical of young firms, our findings reveal that born-global firms leverage a distinctive mix of orientations and strategies that allow them to succeed in diverse international markets. Findings have important implications for the internationalization of contemporary firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-141
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Born-global firms
  • Early adopters of internationalization
  • Innovation and capabilities


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