How are born globals different from non-born global firms? Evidence from korean small-and medium-sized enterprises

Byoungho Jin, Hongjoo Woo, Jae Eun Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Born global (BG) firms internationalize rapidly at or near their inception to the world’s multiple lead markets such as the US and Europe,which contrasts with the classic internationalization theory (i.e.,Stage model) that views internationalization as a gradual process. Most BG studies focus on describing BGs and why firms choose rapid internationalization has yet to be sufficiently addressed. This study was designed to understand what factors are related to BG among Korean small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Bounded by the liability of smallness,SMEs are deficient in financial and human resources,which are typically known as inhibitors of internationalization. Nonetheless,some SMEs internationalize rapidly at or near founding beyond the home continent and become BGs. In order to clearly identify factors related to BGs,two groups (BGs versus Non-BGs) were predicted by eight potential BG related factors. Analyses of 480 survey data collected from Korean SMEs nationwide revealed that among the eight BG related factors,five are found to be significant. That is,Korean SMEs with high entrepreneurial proclivity,highly unique product development,high R&D investment,less foreign network and export consumer products were discovered to be BGs. The findings of this study contribute to advancing BG theories in that,it provides empirical evidence that clearly articulates the “why rapid” aspect of BGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Korea Trade
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015,Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Industrial relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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