The internationalisation of small games development firms: evidence from Poland and Hungary

Isobel Cunningham, Sharon Loane, Patrick Ibbotson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study aims to investigate the internationalisation strategies of small games development firms from Poland and Hungary.Design/methodology/approach – This enquiry adopts a qualitative approach, whereby firms were identified from online searches, and secondary information was sought on each firm prior to in-depth interview, in order to highlight the issues relating to internationalisation/growth.Findings – The paper provides evidence that small games development firms undertake rapid internationalisation, despite resource constraints. Firms were founded by teams of entrepreneurs who unlike many other international entrepreneurs, did not have a priori experience, sometimes moving from being hobbyists into commercial operations. These often exist in a pre-natal phase some years before formal incorporation, an important phase when many of the resources required are sourced. The findings show only partial support for RBV, as these firms were acquiring and controlling resources from their environment on a freelance and low commitment basis. The authors speculate that these firms display dynamic capabilities of the highest order in order to do so.Research/limitations/implications – This enquiry adds to understanding of the (international) growth strategies of small games development firms, and gives insight into how they access dynamic capabilities. However, the number of firms investigated is small and from two Eastern European countries, therefore further larger scale research should be undertaken.Originality/value – Based on this exploration new insights are developed with regard to an under researched sector, and how such firms undertake rapid internationational growth, despite being particularly resource constrained. In particular, the entrpreneurs in these firms have little experience and creatively acquire and control resources in order to grow rapidly. The authors speculate that they display advanced dynamic capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-262
JournalJournal of Small Business and Enterprise Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Highly commended paper Emerald Literati Awards JSBED 2012


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