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Incremental versus Rapid Internationalisation of Firms: Results of Exploratory Investigation from Poland



Objective: The main objective of the article was to discuss the pace of internationalisation and its empirical verification among Polish firms taking into account two factors - strategic thinking and familiness of the studied firms.

Research Design & Methods: The paper, apart from literature review and its critique, is based on results of a survey conducted among randomly selected 355 internationalised firms of different sizes from Poland.

Findings: Firms having an internationalisation strategy rather internationalize faster than these lacking such a strategy, taking into account the average number of years elapses from its founding to the first internationalisation. The empirical results show that the average time of internationalisation is shorter in case of family firms than non-family firms.

Implications & Recommendations: Strategic thinking seems to be very important while going international. A well thought-out strategy can stimulate the whole process of internationalisation, so decision makers, especially entrepreneurs, should pay more attention to strategic aspects, even in early stages of development or early internationalisation.

Contribution & Value Added: The article attempts to enrich the ongoing scientific discourse on the role of time and the pace of internationalisation by adding some evidence from Poland illustrating and verifying the links between strategic thinking as well as familiness of firms and the speed of internationalisation measured in years from the establishment of firms.


born globals, international business, international entrepreneurship, internationalisation


Author Biography

Krzysztof Wach

full professor at Cracow University of Economics (Poland), full professor at the University of Social Sciences in Łódź (Poland). Professor of social sciences (2020), Habilitation (dr hab.) in economics (2013), PhD in management (2006), MSc in international economics (2001). His research interests include international business, international entrepreneurship, EU studies, entrepreneurship and innovation, family firms. Member of AIB (Academy of International Business) and EIBA (European International Business Academy). Editor-in-Chief of ‘Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review’ (Scopus, ESCI WoS). Associate Editor of various journals incl. ‘European Journal of International Management' (SCI WoS), ‘Central European Management Journal’ (Scopus, ESCI WoS), ‘Agris on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics’ (Scopus) or ‘European Integration Studies’ (ESCI WoS). Member of the Committee for Economic Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences (since 2020). Served as expert on entrepreneurship for the European Commission and OECD (2012-2019)


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