University of Twente Student Theses


The Internationalization Process of Gebrüder Rensing GmbH & co. KG - A Design Oriented Approach

Meulenbrugge, Ferdinand Wilfred (2014) The Internationalization Process of Gebrüder Rensing GmbH & co. KG - A Design Oriented Approach.

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Abstract:Introduction The internationalization of a firm is one of the most researched topics of international marketing since the past decades. The factors which are causing internationalization and the internationalization process of a firm are the two main streams in the literature. The Innovation-Model (I-Model) and the Uppsala Internationalization Model (U-Model) are the first models which conceptualized internationalization. These models are both introduced in the nineteen-seventies. The internationalization process of a firm is nowadays still discussed. The main goal of this study is to identify how an organization such as Rensing should internationalize its businesses. The main research question is defined as: How should (a firm with the characteristics of) Gebrüder Rensing GmbH & Co. KG internationalize its business and what are the key elements of this firms internationalization process? The main goal is to identify how an organization such as Rensing should internationalize its businesses. Methods This study dealt with a practical business problem, and therefore the regulative cycle has been used. Design science has been used to tackle the field problem of the organization under study. The goal of design science is to develop valid general knowledge to solve field problems (Aken & Romme, 2009). General here means that it is not a specific solution, but a general solution for a type of problem. For this study it means that the presented solution design is not only applicable for Rensing, but also for the same type of organizations operating under the same conditions. The purpose of this thesis is to implement the double hurdles of rigor and relevance. In other words, the outcome should not only add something to the literature, but should also be relevant for practitioners in the field. The data is gathered through two interview rounds. The first interviews were exploratory to get a better understanding of the problem. Additional interviews have been conducted to verify the research results, in this case to verify the solution design. Theory A considerable body of literature about the internationalization process of a firm is available in the literature. Two early, but still influential, models about the internationalization process of a firm are the U-Model and the I-Model. Both models are labeled as stage approaches. Though, there are several other approaches which (partially) explain the internationalization process, such as learning approaches, contingency approaches, the network perspective, and born global approaches. All approaches contribute to the understanding of the process, but these are not dynamic models which fully explain the internationalization process. Solution design A multiple approach model has been developed to explain the internationalization process of an organization such as Rensing. Internationalization is explained as a stepwise and planned process, but also explained as a result of unplanned circumstances. The learning approach and the network perspective are underlying assumptions of the developed solution design. These two approaches play a crucial role in the recognition of opportunities and in gaining knowledge. The solution design is presented as a cycle with logical following steps, whereby the internationalization process of a firm is University of Twente| F.W. Meulenbrugge – s1221728 III seen as a never-ending dynamic process. An organization does not have to follow the complete cycle of events before starting with additional foreign activities. Discussion of the findings Insufficient foreign market development has been identified as the research problem. Multiple internal and external problems have been identified during this research. All problems are mentioned in the available literature, and suggestions to overcome these problems are presented as well. There are multiple approaches in the literature which explain the internationalization process. Though, these approaches only partially explain the internationalization process and are not necessarily practical relevant for practitioners in the field. An integrated model which combines multiple approaches to describe the internationalization process is not available in the literature yet. Limitations Internationalization is a process that occurs over time. However, due to time constraints it was not possible to conduct a longitudinal study. An additional research limitation is the usage of interviews as data collection method. Biases such as interviewer and interviewee bias are threats which might have occurred as a result of using this method. At last, using a non-probability sampling technique can be seen as a limitation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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