'New-wave' global firms: Web 2.0 and SME internationalisation

James Bell, Sharon Loane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


It is now widely accepted that the Internet and allied information communication technologies have facilitated small and medium enterprises' internationalisation. Moreover, as the World Wide Web (WWW) has evolved, it has provided new tools that enable such firms to internationalise more rapidly and engage more effectively with customers in a wider range of more complex business activities. Within the last decade, significant advances in the WWW (Web 2.0), open-source architecture, and open-innovation strategies have led to the emergence of a 'new wave' of global firms. For these firms the Internet is a key driver of business development and speedy internationalisation. In this paper, having synthesised the literature on the Internet and rapid internationalisation and on open innovation, we discuss how these new-wave firms leverage value through close collaboration with other firms and co-creation with customers. Thereafter, we provide illustrative cases of these new-wave firms developed using Internet sources. These cases demonstrate how the focal firms have used Web 2.0 tools and techniques to leverage their internal and external capabilities, and become rapidly internationalising firms with fuzzy porous boundaries. Finally, we reflect upon the implications of Web 2.0 for business strategy, public policy, and academic enquiry, and propose an agenda for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-229
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Mar 2010


  • internationalisation
  • Web 2.0
  • SMEs
  • co-creation
  • fuzzy boundaries


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