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International Entrepreneurship Theory: Past, Present and Way Forward



Objective: This paper recounts the historical development of International Entrepreneurship as a study field, and demonstrates how concepts brought forth contribute to a broader understanding of fundamental international business and entrepreneurship theories.

Research, Design & Methods: The analytical work makes reference to the existing literature on International Entrepreneurship. Based on the categorisation of themes and sub-themes, the historical development of international entrepreneurship theory is recounted, creating a foundation for the assessment of its relationships and linkages with international business and entrepreneurship theories.

Findings: The findings indicate that International Entrepreneurship is still in a developmental stage. However, the field is rich with novel ideas and concepts that can give an impetus to researchers as they strive to explore themes such as international entrepreneurial orientation and entrepreneurial internationalization.

Implications & Recommendations: The lack of theoretical foundation presents challenges to researchers. Research must be directed at answering the fundamental questions that distinguish International Entrepreneurship from the two related, but more established fields; international business and entrepreneurship.

Contribution & Value Added: The paper provides a point of reference for scholars that want to attain a comprehensive insight into the state of international entrepreneurial research, and distinctions from, and relevance to the fields of international business and entrepreneurship.


international entrepreneurship, international business, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial internationalisation, international entrepreneurial orientation



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