The paper "Enablers of Non-Sequential Internationalization Process among Small and Medium-Sized Firms by Osarenkhoe" is a delightful example of an article on marketing. The article entitled “ A study of the enablers of non-sequential internationalization process among small and medium-sized firms” was written by Aihie Osarenkhoe of the University of Gavle (Sweden) Department of Business Studies, and was published in the International Journal of Business Science and Applied Management in February 2008. The objective of the article is to detail the researcher’ s findings in a study of internationalization processes followed by small- and medium enterprises.
Osarenkhoe’ s hypothesis is that firms that do not follow a sequential process towards internationalization are not solely enabled in their non-sequential approach by single factors, as is commonly asserted by the body of prior research, but rather by a number of interconnected factors. The article begins with a basic definition of internationalization – “ the process of increasing involvement in international operations across borders (Welch & Luostarinen, 1988)” – and briefly introduces some of the large body of research done in North America and Europe. Both streams of research have, according to Osarenkhoe, developed essentially the same basic framework for models of internationalization: “ Both research traditions conceptualize export development as taking place in gradual and sequential stages (learning sequences involving feedback loops), based on a series of incremental commitment decisions depending on perceptions, expectations, experience, managerial capacity, etc.
The firm is assumed to build a stable domestic position before starting international activities. ” (p. 2) In other words, internationalization is a step-by-step process undertaken once a firm establishes a sound position in its domestic market; moving into foreign markets is done incrementally, with each step providing learning to support the following step.
The research question of the author then has two elements: First, not all firms follow a sequential, or step-by-step process; and second, their reason for not doing so cannot be attributed to a single factor. The theoretical framework of the research is based on three models that describe sequential internationalization processes. The first is the Uppsala Internationalisation Model, proposed by Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul in 1975, and expanded by Johanson and Vahlne in 1977. (p. 3) The second is the Transaction Cost Approach (TCA) first proposed by Coase, 1939 and applied to internationalization by Williamson in 1975 (it should be noted, however, that the reference to this latter work is missing from the article). The third model and most recently-developed model is the Network Approach model, which has been studied by numerous researchers.
Osarenkhoe summarises these three models in a table (p. 4).