FINNWIEDERSHEIM-PAUL Introduction THE widespread interest in multinational firms has given rise to many articles and books on various aspects of the international strategies of firms. Research has been concentrated on the large corporations, particularly the American. Many firms, however, start international operations when they are still comparatively small and gradually develop their operations abroad. From our studies of international business at the University of Uppsala we have several observations indicating that this gradual internationalization, rather than large, spectacular foreign investments, is characteristic of the internationalization process of most Swedish firms. It seems reasonable to believe that the same holds true for many firms from other countries with small domestic markets. A related observation is that the type of development during the early stages is of importance for the following pattern. Similar observations have also been made about U.S. firms and have been used as an argument in discussions of foreign investments and international marketing.2 In this paper we describe and analyse the internationalization of four Swedish firms - Sandvik, Atlas Copco, Facit and Volvo. All of them sell more than two-thirds of their turnover abroad and have production facilities in more than one foreign country. In Sweden3they are
Journal of Management Studies – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 1975
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