An empirical examination of the influence of industry and firm drivers on the rate of internationalization by firms
A gradual shift in U.S. firms' 'center of gravity' toward international markets is taking place. This study seeks to explain which drivers are related to this push toward international markets by U.S. firms. In addressing internationalization, previous research has not focused on various drivers that influence the rate of internationalization. Drivers refer to forces, both within and outside the firm, that impact (both positively and negatively) a firm's extent of internationalization. The role of these drivers on the rate of internationalization, though acknowledged in the literature, is yet to be validated through empirical research. This research seeks to narrow the gap in the literature by testing the various relationships among industry drivers, firm drivers, and the rate of internationalization. The objectives of this study are: (A) To develop a conceptual framework that takes into account various forces that influence the internationalization strategy of a firm; (B) To examine empirically (a) the influence of industry drivers on the rate of internationalization pursued by firms; and, (b) the influence of firm drivers on the rate of internationalization by firms. The sample for this study consists of 158 large U.S.- based multinational firms drawn from seven different industries. Data for the study is gathered from a variety of sources including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis; COMPUSTAT; and WORLDSCOPE databases. Set-wise regression models were used for data analysis. This study found that global market growth rate, domestic market growth rate, relative size of domestic market to international market, employee productivity, administrative investments, as well as new plant and equipment influences the international strategy of firms. This study explains about 24 percent of the variance of the rate of internationalization. This research finding is contributory to our existing understanding of internationalization in many ways. Unlike many previous studies on internationalization which attempted to explain the variance in the extent of internationalization, this study tested for the factors influencing the change in the extent of internationalization by firms.
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- Business Administration: Management, Physics: Nuclear, Economics: General