International Marketing Knowledge


International Entrepreneurship in the Contemporary Multi Speed Global Economy, Special issue of International Marketing Review; Deadline 28 Feb 2017


Guest Editors: Kevin Ibeh, David Crick and Hamid Etemad

International entrepreneurial firms, in their various manifestations as born global (BG) firms, international new ventures (INVs), rapidly internationalizing firms, micro multinationals and similar, have contributed significantly to global economic growth over the past few decades. They do so by deploying innovative strategies to explore and effectuate opportunities in national and international markets (Kalinic, Sarasvathy & Forza, 2014), and by disrupting the dynamics of competition in various industries (Sundqvist, Kyläheiko, Kuivalainen & Cadogan, 2012). Their role is likely to be even more crucial as the contemporary multi-speed global economy (i.e. the post-financial crisis world of markedly diverging economic growth outcomes) continues to offer a kaleidoscope of opportunity-risk profiles across countries and sectors (El Erin, 2014; Reuters, 2014; Spicer and Singh, 2015).

Although the past two decades of research have generated a significant stock of knowledge and literature base on the international entrepreneurship phenomenon, including influential winners of the prestigious Journal of International Business Studies’ article of the Decade award (e.g. Oviatt and McDougall, 1994; Knight and Cavusgil, 2004), relatively little is known about how international entrepreneurial firms leverage international marketing knowledge in ‘the discovery, evaluation, enactment, and exploitation of opportunities across national borders’ (Oviatt & McDougall 2005, p. 540). Not enough also is known in respect of how these firms develop their respective international marketing strategy (Aspelund, Madsen, and Moen, 2007) and manage customer and brand relationships, and marketing mix elements in overseas markets. This relative neglect of the marketing underpinnings of international entrepreneurship (Styles & Seymour, 2006; Aspelund, Madsen, and Moen, 2007; Zou, Xu and Shi, 2015) is surprising given the well-established marketing-entrepreneurship nexus (Carson et al., 1995; Gilmore et al., 2013).

The purpose of this special issue is to avail researchers of a platform to share important insights on how resource-constrained international entrepreneurial firms leverage international marketing knowledge and strategies to identify, evaluate, enact, and take advantage of growth opportunities, while mitigating risks in the highly competitive, multi speed global markets. A related aim is to improve understanding of how international entrepreneurial firms utilize overseas opportunities in marketing their way out of recessionary pressures in growth-challenged domestic markets and achieving growth in third markets.

The guest editors will welcome rigorous contributions, including conceptual and theoretical papers, state-of-the-art reviews, empirical studies, and insightful case studies, which address the above-mentioned aims or respond to the following or proximate questions:

  • How do international entrepreneurs capitalise upon their knowledge of buyer behaviour and market conditions in contemporary international markets, including variations thereof, to create, co-create and exchange value internationally?
  • How might extant theories and theory building at the interface of marketing and international entrepreneurship further illuminate the behaviour of individual consumers world-wide?
  • How can inter-organisational and interpersonal collaborations, including alliances, value chains, networks and associated social capital, be leveraged for greater value creation and customer satisfaction in international markets?
  • How do international entrepreneurial firms formulate and implement marketing strategies for enhanced performance in contemporary international markets?
  • What core trade-offs, if any, do international entrepreneurial firms need to consider when developing their marketing strategy? What contextual variables, for example, may influence the most appropriate managerial orientation?
  • How and why do the nature and configuration of marketing capabilities and strategies shift as INVs and BG firms develop and grow? What impact has this shift on performance?
  • What role do dynamic marketing capabilities play in enabling international entrepreneurial firms to achieve evolutionary fitness?
  • How are insights from established marketing concepts such as customer orientation, segmentation, targeting and positioning, product-service innovation being leveraged to enhance growth and performance outcomes among international entrepreneurial firms?
  • How do international entrepreneurial firms select entry modes? Which market entry modes, including digital channels, have been preponderantly favoured? Why and what are the boundary conditions? To what extent do they learn from suboptimal entry mode choices or replicate past mode choices?
  • How do the Internet-enabled experiences of entrepreneurial founders impact their firms’ orientation, strategy, capabilities and performance during internationalization? How do they impact the organizational form?
  • What do we know about the marketing activities of the so-called born-to-flip companies, i.e. start-ups essentially created for acquisition or venture capital attraction?
  • What major marketing challenges do international entrepreneurial firms face in contemporary international markets, e.g. in building brands and ensuring consistent brand image and positioning across overseas markets or mitigating severe service recovery in developing versus advanced economies? Do particular types of international entrepreneurs experience these challenges more acutely than others? How might these be systematically addressed?
  • How do institutional environments influence the ability of international entrepreneurial firms to create value at the national, international, and global levels?
  • What contribution might a marketing mindset, marketing capabilities, and marketing knowledge make toward addressing some of the world’s major socio-economic challenges, including poverty alleviation, sustainability, and geo-political tensions?
  • What lessons might be learnt from international entrepreneurial firms operating in ‘fragile’ economies or bottom-of-the-pyramid markets?
  • How are local policies impacting entrepreneurial marketing strategies at local and global levels?
  • How could internationally- and marketing-oriented entrepreneurial firms deal with policy and contextual differences world-wide?
  • How might advocacy advertising and corporate communications be integrated into entrepreneurial marketing to combat adverse contextual settings?
  • What are the current and emerging methodological challenges that need to be addressed to advance knowledge at the interface between international entrepreneurship and marketing?
  • How would the concept of co-creation be successfully operationalised in diverse international markets?
  • What new methods are required, and what techniques can be used, to uncover true relationships between incipient opportunities and exploitation, and to minimize invalid conclusions?


All submissions should be made using ScholarOne Manuscripts, the online submission and peer review system, by February 28, 2017. Registration and access is available at

For specific questions about this special thematic issue, contact one of the guest editors: Kevin Ibeh (,uk), David Crick ( or Hamid Etemad (

Expected publication: 2018


Aspelund, A., Madsen, T.K. and Moen, Ø. (2007), ‘A review of the foundation, international marketing strategies and performance of international new ventures’, European Journal of Marketing, 41: 1423–1448.

Barakat, L.L., Ramsey, J.R., Lorenz, M.P. and Gosling, M. (2015), Severe service failure recovery revisited: Evidence of its determinants in an emerging market context, International Journal of Research in Marketing 32 113–116

Bartley J.M., Brenton, P., Cali, M., Hoppe, M. and Piermartini, R. (2015), The role of trade in ending poverty, Geneva, World Trade Organization.

Carson, D., Cromie, S., McGowan, P. & Hill, J. (1995), Marketing and entrepreneurship in SMEs, London, Prentice Hall.

Cefis, E. and Marsili, O. (2011), Born to flip. Exit decisions of entrepreneurial firms in high-tech and low-tech industries, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 21:473–498

Coviello, N. (2015) Re-thinking research on born globals, Journal of International Business Studies, 46: 17–26

El-Erian, M. (2014), ‘Global economy – a year of divergence looms’

Gilmore, A., Mcauley, A., Gallagher, D. & Carson, D. (2013), ‘Entrepreneurship and Marketing Interface Research – A Synopsis and Evaluation’, Entrepreneurial Marketing: Global Perspectives, Emerald Publishing.

Hennart, J-F. and Slangen, A-H.L (2015), Yes, we really do need more entry mode studies! A commentary on Shaver, Journal of International Business Studies, 46: 114-122.

Kalinic, I., Sarasvathy, S. D. & Forza, C. (2014), ‘Expect the unexpected’: implications of effectual logic on the internationalization process’, International Business Review, 23: 635-647.

Knight, G. & Cavusgil, S. T. (2004), ‘Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm’, Journal of International Business Studies, 35(2): 124–141.

Oviatt, B.M. and McDougall, P.P. (1994), ‘Toward a theory of international new ventures’, Journal of International Business Studies, 25(1): 45-64.

Oviatt, B. and McDougall, P. (2005), ‘Defining international entrepreneurship and modeling the speed of internationalization’, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 29: 537–554.

Reuters (2014), Fitch: ‘Global Economy Faces Multi-speed Recovery, Multiple Risks’,

Spicer, J. and Singh, R.K. (2015), ‘Mind the gap in multi-speed world economy after oil plunge’.

Styles, C. & Seymour, R. G. (2006), ‘Opportunities for marketing researchers in international entrepreneurship’, International Marketing Review, 23(2): 126-145.

Sundqvist, S., Kyläheiko, K., Kuivalainen, O., & Cadogan, J. W. (2012), ‘Kirznerian and Schumpeterian entrepreneurial-oriented behavior in turbulent export markets’, International Marketing Review, 29(2): 203-219.

Zou, S., Xu, H. and Shi, L. H. (2015), ‘Entrepreneurship in International Marketing’, in S. Zou , H. Xu , L. H. Shi (ed.) Advances in International Marketing, 25: iii, Emerald Publishing.

Kevin Ibeh is Professor of Marketing and International Business and Assistant Dean/HoD of Management at Birkbeck, University of London. His research has mainly sought to advance knowledge of how non-dominant firms, including SMEs, might be effectively guided to leverage growth opportunities in international markets. Professor Ibeh’s work has appeared in the Journal of World Business, British Journal of Management, International Business Review, Journal of Business Research, Management International Review, European Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Small Business Economics among others, and he currently serves on the editorial board/review team of several international journals.

David Crick is the Paul Desmarais Chair of International Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the University of Ottawa. His current research interests involve work at the Marketing/International Entrepreneurship interface and particularly work that addresses a more effective public/private sector interaction. He is on the editorial boards of several journals and his work has been presented at various international conferences and published in journals including: the European Journal of Marketing, International Business Review, International Marketing Review, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Journal of Small Business Management, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, and Small Business Economics.

Hamid Etemad is a Professor of Marketing and International Business at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University. His research and publications span a wide range from economic development and electronic marketing to international entrepreneurship and rapidly-growing smaller firms. He has published widely in scholarly journals and has edited six volumes of books and 13 special issues of scholarly journals, including the Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Global Focus, International Marketing Review (two issues), Small Business Economics, Journal of International Management, Journal of International Entrepreneurship and Management International Review, among others. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Entrepreneurship; the Series Editor of the McGill International Entrepreneurship Series of books published by Edward Elgar Publishing and is also a member editorial boards of six scholarly journals.