An Investigation of the Critical Incidents and Motivations for Some New Zealand Firms to Become Born-again Globals: An International Entrepreneurship Approach
International business theories have identified different modes of internationalisation and market entry strategies, from well-researched models of incremental market entry to more recent phenomena such as Born Globals (BGs). Although BGs have received recent attention in the literature, the related concept of the Born-Again Global (BAGs) firms requires more investigation and discussion. These firms, which operate purely domestically for a sustained period and then experience rapid internationalisation after critical incidents, are of especial importance to the New Zealand economy and competitiveness. This research aims to use an international entrepreneurship approach to investigate why these firms decide to become late internationalisers, and to explore what critical incidents motivate the change of strategy, and the modes that the internationalisation adopts. The study examined five BAG firms within the Auckland region. An exploratory qualitative research method was adopted, and this research used semi-structured interviews with senior managers to investigate the in-depth reasons for the firms’ late but rapid internationalisation. The findings substantiated the previous literature’s ability to explain BAGs’ behaviour, and some of the sample firms were following the ‘transformational’ strategy identified in New Zealand studies. However, the study also revealed some differences from previous literature as the New Zealand firms were proactive in expanding their international markets, and internationalised to a greater extent than expected. The sample also included BAG firms in the professional service industry and found some sectoral differences which need further investigation.