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Submission is now open: The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Disentangling innovation in international entrepreneurship

  • 1.  Submission is now open: The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Disentangling innovation in international entrepreneurship

    Posted 04-10-2024 12:47

    Submission is open

    Call for papers for a special issue on Disentangling innovation in international entrepreneurship

    The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

    It has been three decades since Oviatt and McDougall (1994) introduced international entrepreneurship (IE) as a multidisciplinary domain incorporating entrepreneurship and international business studies. According to McDougall and Oviatt (2000), IE explores the extent to which small and entrepreneurial firms embrace risk-seeking, proactive, and innovative activities to explore and exploit foreign market business opportunities. That is, IE literature (e.g., Autio, 2005; Knight & Cavusgil, 2004; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994) suggests two types of firms that leverage inorganic growth to explore international markets, namely international new ventures (INVs) and born global firms (BGs). This is followed by the identification of a new type of international small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which, in addition to exporting, use other market entry modes (e.g., joint-venture, R&D internationalisation) to exploit opportunities abroad (Dimitratos et al., 2003; Dimitratos et al., 2014).

    However, the global business environment in recent years has been characterised by unprecedented challenges. Disruptions such as the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and economic crisis, on the one hand, and the fourth industrial revolution and transformation to digital platforms, on the other hand, necessitate firms to embrace innovation in their processes and the way they do business. In this vein, given the limited resources, small and entrepreneurial internationalisers are required to build innovative and dynamic capabilities and adapt their business processes and models to external changes to ensure their international business continuity and growth (Asemokha et al., 2019; Falahat et al., 2020; Foss et al., 2011; Freixanet et al., 2021). For instance, in the context of family firms, literature (e.g., Baù et al., 2021; Balconi et al., 2023; Hack-Polay et al., 2020; Weismeier-Sammer et al., 2014) emphasized the importance of connecting local and global environments to pursue sustainable growth. The entrepreneurs' and their firms' embeddedness in domestic and international (Leppäaho et al., 2018) has also been acknowledged as crucial for international entrepreneurship. Beyond these meso-level factors facilitating innovation and internationalization processes, Jafari-Sadeghi et al. (2021) highlight the importance of better understanding the firm-specific micro-foundations and dynamic capabilities in the internationalisation of SMEs.

    While these sources are rich and offer compelling evidence in understanding innovation and internationalisation, there are still gaps that need further exploration, particularly in understanding innovation management, innovation process or firm-level characteristics in the context of entrepreneurial internationalisation. Also, with a few exceptions (e.g., Jafari-Sadeghi et al., 2023; Sawaean & Ali, 2020), the relationship between managerial and entrepreneurial characteristics and behaviours and innovation capacities of SMEs has been muted in IE research. On the other hand, literature has shown that while policies have been enacted to improve innovation performance (e.g., Ince et al., 2023; Lau & Lo, 2015; Liang & Liu, 2018), little is known about the impact of these policies on the internationalisation efforts of firms, especially SMEs and family firms.

    That said, this special issue aims to bring together research-informed articles that delve into the contribution of innovation in international entrepreneurial activities. We call for papers that explore the nexus between innovation and its enablers and barriers to SME internationalisation at different levels. Indeed, we are interested in more research that disentangles the entrepreneur's innovative characteristics and firm-specific capabilities that drive SMEs into entrepreneurial internationalisation. We welcome research that focuses on translating innovation policies in an intra/inter-firm context and its workings in managing innovation and firms' internationalisation efforts.

    We thus invite qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches and, overall, research articles bridging the gap between theoretical conceptions and practical insights. Such studies might be focused on, but not limited to, the following areas of research and related topics:

    • Firm-specific characteristics and innovation management in small and medium internationalisers
    • Key drivers and main outcomes of innovation for BGs, INVs and mMNEs.
    • Innovation and de- or re-internationalisation of SMEs
    • Digitalisation and digital transformation in international entrepreneurship
    • New international business models built on the strengths of innovation
    • Digital innovation and strategies for cross-border value creation
    • Product, process, organizational, market innovation and SMEs' competitive advantage in international markets
    • R&D internationalisation performance of small international firms
    • Knowledge slipover and innovation capabilities of international firms
    • Individual- and firm-level motivations toward innovation and international entrepreneurship
    • Micro-foundations and managerial characteristics and innovation of entrepreneurial internationalisers
    • Gender and international entrepreneurship
    • International entrepreneurial orientation and SMEs' innovation performance
    • Innovative decision-making toward entrepreneurial internationalisation
    • Home and host country institutional characteristics and SMEs' innovation
    • Innovation ecosystems and networks and international entrepreneurship
    • Regional policies, regional differences and their impact on innovation and internationalisation
    • Innovation and immigrant, refugee and ethnic minority entrepreneurship
    • Local-global designs and internationalisation

    Important dates

    • Date of the call: May 2023
    • Deadline for submission of papers: 30th April 2024
    • Expected publication date:  February 2025

    Preparation and submission of papers and review process

    Submissions must be original, must not have been published, accepted for publication or presently be under consideration elsewhere. Submissions, including any supporting materials, should be between 6,000 to 8,000 words in length. Copies should be uploaded to the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation's homepage through the Sage system. You need to upload your paper using the dropdown menu selection for the Special Issue on innovation in international entrepreneurship. For guidelines, visit https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/iei. Submissions that do not comply with the journal publishing guidelines or that are poorly written will be desk rejected. Papers will undergo anonymous review.

    Please address all questions regarding the Special Issue to the guest editors:

    Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi

    Aston Business School, Aston University, United Kingdom


    Arun Sukumar

    Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom


    Miruna Radu-Lefebvre

    Audencia, France


    Richard B. Nyuur

    School of Management, University of Bradford, United Kingdom



    Asemokha, A., Musona, J., Torkkeli, L., & Saarenketo, S. (2019). Business model innovation and entrepreneurial orientation relationships in SMEs: Implications for international performance. Journal of International Entrepreneurship17, 425-453.

    Autio, E. (2005). Creative tension: the significance of Ben Oviatt's and Patricia McDougall's article "toward a theory of international new ventures". Journal of International Business Studies, 36(1), 9–19.

    Balconi, S. B., Dias Lopes, L. F., da Veiga, C. P., & da Silva, W. V. (2023). Relationship between the family farmers' entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 14657503231156868.

    Baù, M., Block, J., Discua Cruz, A., & Naldi, L. (2021). Bridging locality and internationalization–A research agenda on the sustainable development of family firms. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development33(7-8), 477-492.

    Dimitratos, P., Amorós, J. E., Etchebarne, M. S., & Felzensztein, C. (2014). Micro-multinational or not? International entrepreneurship, networking and learning effects. Journal of Business Research67(5), 908-915.

    Dimitratos, P., Johnson, J., Slow, J., & Young, S. (2003). Micromultinationals: New types of firms for the global competitive landscape. European Management Journal21(2), 164–174.

    Falahat, M., Ramayah, T., Soto-Acosta, P., & Lee, Y. Y. (2020). SMEs internationalisation: The role of product innovation, market intelligence, pricing and marketing communication capabilities as drivers of SMEs' international performance. Technological Forecasting and Social Change152, 119908.

    Foss, L., Iakovleva, T., Kickul, J., Oftedal, E. M., & Solheim, A. (2011). Taking innovations to market: The role of strategic choice and the evolution of dynamic capabilities. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation12(2), 105-116.

    Freixanet, J., Braojos, J., Rialp-Criado, A., & Rialp-Criado, J. (2021). Does international entrepreneurial orientation foster innovation performance? The mediating role of social media and open innovation. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation22(1), 33–44.

    Hack-Polay, D., Igwe, P. A., & Madichie, N. O. (2020). The role of institutional and family embeddedness in the failure of Sub-Saharan African migrant family businesses. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation21(4), 237-249.

    Ince, H., Imamoglu, S. Z., & Karakose, M. A. (2023). Entrepreneurial orientation, social capital, and firm performance: The mediating role of innovation performance. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation24(1), 32-43.

    Jafari-Sadeghi, V., Amoozad Mahdiraji, H., Alam, G.M., & Mazzoleni, A. (2023). Entrepreneurs as strategic transformation managers: Exploring micro-foundations of digital transformation in small internationalisers. Journal of Business Research, 154 (January 2023), 113287, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.051

    Jafari-Sadeghi, V., Amoozad Mahdiraji, H., Bresciani, S., & Pellicelli, A. (2021). Context-specific micro-foundations and successful SME internationalisation in emerging markets: A mixed-method analysis of managerial resources and dynamic capabilities. Journal of Business Research, 134(2021), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.05.027

    Knight, G. & Cavusgil, S.T. (2004). Innovation, organisational capabilities, and the born-global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35, 124-141.

    Lau, A. K., & Lo, W. (2015). Regional innovation system, absorptive capacity and innovation performance: An empirical study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change92, pp. 99–114.

    Leppäaho, T., Chetty, S., & Dimitratos, P. (2018). Network embeddedness in the internationalization of biotechnology entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development30(5-6), 562-584.

    Liang, X., & Liu, A. M. (2018). The evolution of government-sponsored collaboration network and its impact on innovation: A bibliometric analysis in the Chinese solar PV sector. Research Policy47(7), 1295-1308.

    McDougall, P. & Oviatt, B. (2000). International entrepreneurship: The intersection of two research paths. Academy of Management Journal, 43, 902–906.

    Oviatt, B. & McDougall, P. (1994). Toward a theory of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies, 25(1), 45–64.

    Sawaean, F., & Ali, K. (2020). The impact of entrepreneurial leadership and learning orientation on organisational performance of SMEs: The mediating role of innovation capacity. Management Science Letters10(2), 369–380.

    Weismeier-Sammer, D., & Hatak, I. R. (2014). Succession in the family business: challenges for successors from an entrepreneurial perspective. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation15(4), 279-284.

    Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi (PhD, SFHEA)
    ​Director of PhD Programme, College of Business and Social Sciences
    Chair of 50th AIB UK & Ireland Conference (2024)
    Senior Lecturer in International Business
    Aston Business School, Aston University, UK
    e: v.jafari-sadeghi@aston.ac.uk
    t: +44 (0) 121 204 5848