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Adapting the Uppsala model to a modern world: Macro-context and microfoundations

Coviello, N, Kano, L and P Liesch (2017). Adapting the Uppsala model to a modern world: Macro-context and microfoundations, Journal of International Business Studies, 48(9): 1151-1164.

Vahlne and Johanson (2017) present the multinational business enterprise (MBE) as a new form of cross-border organization that supersedes the multinational enterprise (MNE). They offer a ‘general model of the evolution of the MBE,’ arguing that the MBE evolves through ongoing internationalization processes by proactively and entrepreneurially engaging in business exchange rather than production. In this counterpoint, we focus on two critical dimensions absent from Vahlne and Johanson’s (2017) arguments: the impact of the digital context as a defining macro-level feature of our modern world, and the role of the individual as a core microfoundation of the internationalization process. Read More

We argue that a robust theory of the evolution of the modern firm must necessarily account for these dimensions. To explicate these impacts, we draw from a range of complementary research streams across international business, entrepreneurship, and international entrepreneurship. We identify research implications for scholars seeking to further advance the Uppsala model of internationalization and those who will use the revised model to study the modern multinational.

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