Guest Editors:

Prof. Tamar Almor

College of Management, Academic Studies, Israel,

Dr. Shlomo Y. Tarba

The University of Sheffield, UK,


 Background and Rationale for the Special Issue

Rapidly internationalizing, entrepreneurial companies seem to emerge more frequently in small countries with advanced economies, such as Israel, than in larger economies such as the U.S. (Efrat and Shoham, 2012; Freeman and Cavusgil, 2007; Gabrielsson and Kirpalani, 2004), and are often referred to in literature as “born-global” companies (Hashai 2011; Hewerdine and Welch, 2013; Melen and Rovira Nordman, 2009; Vasilchenko and Morrish, 2011). Born-global companies are characterized as having the ability to create innovative, self-developed, technology-based products that are sold internationally from the start of their existence (Rovira Nordman and Melen, 2008). Born-global companies are defined as business organizations that from the time of their founding or shortly thereafter seek superior international business performance, by creating knowledge-based resources and capabilities in which form the basis for sales in various countries (Almor, 2013; Gabrielsson and Kirpalani, 2004). While most research on this topic has focused on developed economies (Almor, 2011; Almor and Hashai, 2004; Efrat and Shoham, 2011; Hewerdine and Welch, 2013; Uner, Kocak, Cavusgil, and Cavusgil, 2013), case studies and incidental reporting seems to indicate that such companies can be found, with increasing frequency, in developing economies as well. However, to date, few empirical studies have been published on this topic.

Most empirical studies on born-global companies examine firms that exist for less than a decade. Moreover, the afore-mentioned studies deal primarily with issues of the initial survival and growth of these companies (Hashai and Almor 2004). Incidental case studies published in newspapers, however, have suggested that at least part of these entrepreneurial knowledge-intensive companies have now been in existence for about two decades, are maturing, and have been facing issues that differ from those encountered by the young firms. Furthermore, the maturing process of born-global companies seems to be a relatively new phenomenon that has not yet been researched to date, and therefore few questions have been raised regarding their maturation process (Glaister, Liu, Sahadev, and Gomes, 2014; Trudgen and Freeman, 2014). As a result, relatively little data exist about maturing born-global companies, whether or not they have survived as independent companies, and what international strategies they use to remain competitive (Almor, 2013; Almor, Tarba, Margalit, 2014) . Although there are many examples of born-global, technology-based companies that have been acquired by larger technology-based firms and have been merged into the larger businesses (e.g., Gomes, Weber, Brown, and Tarba, 2011; Weber and Tarba, 2011; Weber, Tarba, and Oberg, 2014), there are relatively few that have survived as independent entities and so far little research has addressed the topic of independent survival, the strategies employed to do so and the effect of culture, the management team as well as other factors, on the independent survival.

Despite the fact that about two decades of research exists regarding high-tech, born-global companies and international new ventures (INVs), many research gaps remain. The purpose of this special issue is to examine these gaps by addressing issues such as born global companies originating from developing countries, the relationships between collaborative agreements and survival of such companies, the effect of senior management and culture on survival and more, as explained below.

Topics for the special issue:

The goal of this special issue is to stimulate scholars to focus (i) on the challenges and strategies of small, international high-tech companies in the global environment at individual, group, and firm level as well as (ii) on the role of location (eg. quality of business location, impact of presence of clusters, etc.) of the home and/or of the host countries on the international high-tech companies competitiveness.

We encourage review, conceptual, and empirical contributions that may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

The contributions may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  1. What are the antecedents, moderators/mediators, and outcomes of competitive and/or growth strategies pursued by small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  2. How does the macro-environmental and micro-environmental (industry) context in developed and/or emerging economies influence success/failure of collaborative partnerships (alliances, joint ventures, and M&A) established by small, international high-tech companies?
  3. How do clusters impact on the ability of born-global firms to emerge, to invest in specific location abroad and to perform in international markets?
  4. What is the impact of senior management on success/failure of collaborative partnerships (alliances, joint ventures, and M&A) established by small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  5. What skills, competencies, and behaviours the incumbent managers and employees need to learn and practice in order to enable small, international high-tech companies' success in developed and/or emerging economies?
  6. What is the impact of strategic agility and organizational ambidexterity on success/failure of small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  7. What are the social, economic and environmental implications of innovation management (product vs. process innovation) in small, international high-tech companies' success in developed and/or emerging economies?
  8. What are the value-creating and value-capturing factors in small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  9. What is the impact of emotions and resilience on success/failure of small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  10. What is the influence of national cultural distance and corporate (organizational) differences on success/failure of small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  11. What is the impact of venture capital funds on success/failure of small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?
  12. What is the effect of collaborative agreements between governmental and industry bodies and academics institutions on success/failure of small, international high-tech companies in developed and/or emerging economies?


Almor, T. (2011). Dancing as fast as they can: Israeli high-tech firms and the great recession of 2008. Thunderbird International Business Review, 53, 109-276.

Almor, T. (2013). Conceptualizing paths of growth for the technology-based, born-global firm originating in a small population, advanced economy. International Studies of Management & Organization, 43(2), 56-78.

Almor, T., & Hashai, N. (2004). Competitive advantage and strategic configuration of knowledge-intensive small and medium sized multinationals: A modified resource based view. Journal of International Management, 10, 479-500.

Almor, T., Tarba, S. Y., & Margalit, A. (2014). Maturing, technology-based, born-global companies: Surviving through mergers and acquisitions. Management International Review, (Forthcoming, doi: 10.1007/s11575-014-0212-9). 

Efrat, K., & Shoham, A. (2011). Environmental characteristics and technological capabilities' interaction in high-technology born global firms. European Journal of International Management, 5(3), 271-284. 

Efrat, K., & Shoham, A. (2012). Born-global firms: The differences between their short-and long-term performance drivers. Journal of World Business47, 675-685.

Gomes, E., Weber, Y., Brown, C., and Tarba, S.Y. (2011). Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances: Understanding The Process. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Freeman, S., & Cavusgil, T. (2007). Towards a typology of commitment states among managers of born-global firms: A study of accelerated internationalization. Journal of International Marketing, 15(4), 1-40.

Gabrielsson, M., & Kirpalani, V.H.M. (2004). Born globals: How to reach new business space rapidly. International Business Review, 13, 555-571.

Glaister, A. J., Liu, Y., Sahadev, S., & Gomes, E. (2014). Externalizing, internalizing and fostering commitment: The case of born-global firms in emerging economies. Management International Review, (Forthcoming, doi: 10.1007/s11575-014-0215-6)

Hashai N., & Almor T. (2004). Gradually internationalization 'born-global' firms: An oxymoron? International Business Review,13, 465-483

Hashai, N. (2011). Sequencing the expansion of geographic scope and foreign operations by “born-global” firms”. Journal of International Business Studies42(8), 995-1015.

Hewerdine, L., & Welch, C. (2013). Are international new ventures really new? A process study of organizational emergence and internationalization. Journal of World Business48(4), 466-477.

Melen, S., & Rovira Nordman, E. (2009). The internationalisation modes of born globals: A longitudinal study. European Management Journal27, 243-254.

Rovira Nordman, E., & Melen, S. (2008). The impact of different kinds of knowledge for the internationalization process of born globals in the biotech business. Journal of World Business43, 171-185.

Trudgen, R., & Freeman, S. (2014). Measuring the performance of born-global firms throughout their development process: The roles of initial market selection and internationalisation speed. Management International Review, (Forthcoming, doi: 10.1007/s11575-014-0210-y). 

Uner, M. M., Kocak, A., Cavusgil, E., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2013). Do barriers to export vary for born globals and across stages of internationalization? An empirical inquiry in the emerging market of Turkey. International Business Review, 22(5), 800-813. 

Vasilchenko, E., & Morrish, S. (2011). The role of entrepreneurial networks in the exploration and exploitation of internationalization opportunities by information and communication technology firms. Journal of International Marketing, 19(4), 88-105.

Weber, Y., & Tarba, S. Y. (2011). Exploring integration approach in related mergers: Post-merger integration in the high-tech industry. International Journal of Organizational Analysis19, 202–221.

Weber, Y., Tarba, S.Y., and Oberg, C. (2013). A Comprehensive Guide to Mergers and Acquisitions: Managing the Critical Success Factors Across Every Stage of the M&A Process. USA & UK: Financial Times Press.


All papers will be subject to double-blind peer review, according to author guidelines available at :

 Submissions to Competitiveness Review are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts: (please select the correct special issue from the drop-down menu)

Submission deadline: March 31, 2015. However, earlier submissions are encouraged.

The review process will take approximately up to 6 months.

About the special issue editors

Tamar Almor ( a professor of Strategic Management and International Entrepreneurship at School of Business Administration, College of Management, Israel. She received her PhD from Tel-Aviv University, Israel. Her research interests include new entrepreneurial ventures, born global firms, innovation strategies, and mergers and acquisitions. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, Human Relations, Research Policy, International Business ReviewInternational Studies of Management & Organization, Journal of International ManagementThunderbird International Business Review, and others.

Shlomo Y. Tarba ( a Lecturer in Strategic Management at the Management School, University of Sheffield, UK. He received his PhD in Strategic Management from Ben-Gurion University and Master's in Biotechnology degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research interests include strategic agility, born global firms, organizational ambidexterity and innovation, and mergers and acquisitions.

His research papers are published/forthcoming in journals such as Journal of Management, Academy of Management Perspectives, Management International Review, California Management Review, International Business Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Thunderbird International Business Review, International Studies of Management & Organization, Human Resource Management Review, and others.