How should new digital-based ventures expand to international markets? – A new study shows how the characteristics of digital artefacts can be utilised to speed up the process

A recent study by Professor Arto Ojala from the University of Vaasa and his colleagues from the University of Eastern Finland, published in the renowned Global Strategy Journal (ABS4), highlights the characteristics of digital products and services, or digital artefacts, and their impact on the internationalisation of new entrepreneur-led digital-based ventures.

Professor Arto Ojala, along with Sara Fraccastoro and Mika Gabrielsson, present a new strategic model in their research article Characteristics of digital artifacts in international endeavors of digital-based international new ventures, which enables entrepreneurs to harness the characteristics of digital artefacts to support the internationalisation of their new ventures.

One of these characteristics is country agnosticism. It allows entrepreneurs to efficiently launch businesses based on digital platforms simultaneously in multiple countries.

– Our research highlights the important role of the characteristics of digital artefacts in the internationalisation of firms. By using these characteristics effectively, entrepreneurs can accelerate the development and success of their firms in international markets, says Professor Ojala.

According to the study, it is important to note that the benefits of digital artefacts vary depending on the stage of internationalisation. In later stages, when the digital platform expands to more remote markets, new user groups or different applications, more adaptation to local market conditions is required. In such cases, country agnosticism becomes less beneficial, while other characteristics of digital artefacts, such as editability, interactivity, and product agnosticism, can benefit local adaptation. The re-programmability of digital artefacts can help new ventures in expanding into new industries and provide customers with new ways to interact on a digital platform.

Professor Arto Ojala, University of Vaasa.

Researchers emphasise the crucial role of entrepreneurs. The networking and learning abilities of entrepreneurs help them to respond to changing market conditions and speed up international expansion. These abilities also support the development of dynamic entrepreneurial capabilities, which are vital for the international success of the firm.

Entrepreneurs can use the developed model to identify appropriate measures to take advantage of the characteristics of digital artefacts in their internationalisation efforts. The model also benefits public actors such as export promotion organisations by helping them find suitable support measures.

Overall, the findings of the study clearly show how the characteristics of digital artefacts can be used for rapid internationalisation. While it may be easier to expand to international markets with digital services than physical products, success relies heavily on the dynamic capabilities of the entrepreneurs, such as learning, networking and combining different resources.


Further information

Professor Arto Ojala

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