Understanding incubation during foreign market entry: Lessons learnt from an illustrative Danish case study

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Purpose: This paper aims to discuss business incubation to enter foreign markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries through the
lens of an “international business incubator” (IBI). International market expansion offers huge opportunities for companies to increase their
revenue, but there are also challenging tasks such as the establishment of a business company and the occupation of a strategic position abroad.
Practitioners consider this process as the act of incubation, but the theoretical discussion lags behind the practice-led debate.
Design/methodology/approach: An illustrative, and theory-led, case study is presented that describes market expansion to BRIC countries through a
network-based IBI. The empirical case is an illustrative Danish company with international operations in BRIC countries both with and without an IBI.
Findings: International business incubation represents a process, which can be influenced through an IBI, and business networking during foreign market
entry is shaped by IBI brokerage (bridging, bonding and protecting) in different phases. IBI activities that are embedded in business networking support a
company’s endeavours in getting a foothold and acquiring a strategic position in BRIC markets and facilitates the market penetration.
Research limitations/implications – The IBI’s activities to enter foreign markets should be thoroughly managed. Further studies should be
conducted with cross-case comparisons and larger samples to reflect on the propositions established.
Originality/value: By linking the business networking theory with the practice-led understanding of business incubation, the study explores an
under-conceptualised topic for international business and entrepreneurship scholars. The paper offers an initial understanding of how brokerage
interacts with incubation during the entry of new markets.
TidsskriftJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 9. dec. 2020


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