The born global firm: An entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization

S. Tamer Cavusgil*, Gary Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

594 Citations (Scopus)


Our 2004 Journal of International Business Studies article, "Innovation, Organizational Capabilities, and the Born Global Firm" provided a framework for the phenomenon of early and rapid internationalization among young, entrepreneurial firms. This work can be characterized as an integration of marketing, entrepreneurial, and capability-based thinking around exporting, positioned as the born global exporter. The article also reported findings from a national study of start-up firms that expanded abroad early in their evolution. In the present commentary, we reflect on the contributions of the 2004 article, review the scholarship on the topic over the past decade, and offer suggestions for future inquiry. While the incidence of early internationalization by firms was a novel concept two decades ago, today such firms are found in abundance in many countries. Yet many unresolved research questions remain, including the crucial topic of what happens to "born global" firms as they grow and mature over time. Similarly, the issue of why some firms internationalize early, others late in their evolution, and still others choose to remain local, is a fundamental question for international business scholarship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2015


  • born globals
  • decade award
  • early internationalization
  • entrepreneurial firms
  • innovation/creativity
  • rapid internationalization


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