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Profiling the Hybrid: Born-again Global Firms in Switzerland
A Case Study on the Internationalisation Behaviour of Mature Firms in Switzerland
Authors: Rico J. Baldegger and Patricia Wyss
Published: February 2008
The main objective of this publication is to develop new theory in the field of internationalization process of so-called „born-again global firms“. These are companies that change from a purely domestic to a global focus within a short period of time and expand into countries with a great physical distance shortly after the strategic change.
For a considerable amount of time, research in the area of international entrepreneurship has mainly focused on the study of “born globals”, i.e. companies that embrace rapid and dedicated internationalization from inception despite their scarce resources and lack of experience. As a matter of fact, they challenged the main findings provided by the advocates of the process theory claiming that internationalisation is a stepwise and reactive process that allows companies to accumulate knowledge about new markets and environments. Consequently, numerous studies investigated antecedents and outcomes of the internationalisation patterns observed with born globals and models attempting to explain their behavior were developed. Then, however, several researchers started to criticize the fact that only new ventures were taken into consideration when investigating the field of international entrepreneurship, neglecting one particular type of firm which is considered as almost equally important: mature domestically focused corporations.
Prof. PhD Rico J. Baldegger is professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Applied Sciences in Fribourg, Switzerland. His research activities concentrate on innovative start- ups, the entrepreneurial behavior of individuals and organizations as well as the phenomenon of rapid-growth companies. He has published several books and articles and, since the beginning of the 90s, has been the manager of a business for company development.
Patricia Wyss obtained her degree in Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences in Fribourg, Switzerland, in 2006. The focus of her studies was International Entrepreneurship with an emphasis on detailed research into rapidly internationalizing SMEs. Since completing her degree, she has moved to Dublin and is at present working in the International Corporate division at the Bank of Ireland.
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