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Paper info: Knowledge and Network Heritage and Re-internationalisation


Knowledge and Network Heritage and Re-internationalisation


Catherine Welch
University of New South Wales
Catherine Welch and Lawrence Welch

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.


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Re-internationalisation represents a research challenge for the internationalisation process and international entrepreneurship fields. Many companies withdraw from international operations, go through an international time-out period and later re- enter the international arena. Little is known about this process, and whether re-internationalisers behave differently from those starting out for the first time. The limited, sketchy evidence is considered and it is argued from different discipline perspectives that some re-internationalisers will go into the re-entry process with a significant international heritage from previous activities, including relevant knowledge and networks, enabling faster re-entry and take-off. However, some firms will have exited in such negative circumstances that international re-entry initially is rejected as an option, and may be slow to respond to new international opportunities. Much depends on what happens during the international time-off period, particularly in terms of changes in management and/or ownership, the nature and strength of international re-entry stimuli, and how the re-entry process unfolds.