A4 Conference proceedings

Revisiting the international new venture phenomenon: early internationalization among three Finnish small- and medium-sized family enterprises in the turning of 20th century

Publication Details
Authors: Leppäaho Tanja, Amdam Rolv, Jack Sarah, Korhonen Satu
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Title of parent publication: 38th Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


We revisit the international new venture (INV) phenomenon by studying the role of social networks and embeddedness during the pre-launch period and early internationalisation (1870s-1920s) of three Finnish well-known companies (Ahlström, Metsä Group, UPM) originating from family enterprises launched by the Ahlström, Serlachius, and Schauman families. We also consider the role of historical context and societal interaction within this process. By revisiting INVs of the time, we look to generate new insights on the phenomenon of international entrepreneurship and embeddedness. It seems that in addition to natural resources and personal characteristics such as determination to not give up during serious setbacks (such as famine and the world war), strong social network ties with both domestic and international friends and partners, especially excellent political and newspaper ties and their own involvement in politics, seemed to explain the emergence and success of these firms. Their strong network ties with politicians and newspapers enabled them to influence the significant extension of the Finnish railway network, purchase an icebreaker to support the development of Western trade, the development of harbors, improving conditions for workers and the establishment of Paper Union to improve the competitiveness of the industry.

Last updated on 2018-19-12 at 12:30