Purpose - This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of internationalisation processes in transition economies, and to make an attempt to conceptualise a new model of entrepreneurial internationalisation. Design/methodology/approach - A theoretical model of entrepreneurial internationalisation is developed, which is then tested in a case analysis of a Lithuanian company. The paper draws on Uppsala internationalisation theory, network theory and theories of international entrepreneurship. Findings - Analysis shows that knowledge, to be a tool for decision making in the internationalisation process, is used to create beliefs or "images" of markets. Second, it is argued that incomplete, fragmented, and even contradictory knowledge results in a system of assumptions about international environment. Under the conditions of a highly turbulent business environment, risk and uncertainty could be handled once they are interpreted by creating a set of beliefs. These beliefs serve as a basis for international opportunity perception and recognition. Findings indicate that in the process of entrepreneurial internationalisation, opportunity plays a crucial role, since it shapes the mode and direction of further actions. Entrepreneurs perceive international opportunity as a future picture of reality, and their actions are organised according to this picture. Research limitations/implications - The paper is based upon a single case study of a company from a transition economy. Further, research development through many case studies in different countries with transition economies may enhance one's understanding of international entrepreneurship. Practical implications - The study provides valuable knowledge for organizations intending to operate in turbulent economic environments. Originality/value - The internationalisation process of the companies from transition economies is scarcely discussed in international entrepreneurship theory - and hence the paper addresses an important research gap. The study introduces new elements in the chain "knowledge - internationalisation event". It is argued in the paper that those elements are beliefs and opportunities. The model shows how these elements interact in the process of internationalisation.
- Eastern Europe
- Economic development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Strategy and Management