Purpose– Recently, increased interest has been devoted to discuss theory development in relation to business-to-business (B2B) marketing. The purpose of this paper is to explore these thoughts through describing and analyzing research on the internationalization of firms from an Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) perspective. The authors ask: to what extent have these studies resulted in a theory of internationalization? Design/methodology/approach– The paper is conceptual and frames research on the internationalization of firms by means of definitions, domains, relations of variables and predictions. It looks into research on internationalization based on an IMP-inspired network perspective to see to what extent research has resulted in theories of internationalization. Findings– While there have been substantial efforts on theorizing related to IMP-based internationalization studies, the research has not yet resulted in theory. Research limitations/implications– In this paper one phenomenon was selected that has already been addressed in IMP research, namely, the internationalization of firms. Had the authors chosen another phenomenon previously studied in IMP the findings might had turned out differently. Originality/value– The paper makes a contribution to understanding how ideas are developed, used and referenced in long-term research development for the specific phenomenon of internationalization. The paper contributes to the debate on theories within B2B research.
IMP Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 6, 2015