Global Strategies and Entrepreneurial Firms: The Role of the Entrepreneur’s Features in the Decision-Making Process


  • Clara Benevolo University of Genoa, Italy
  • Lara Penco University of Genoa, Italy
  • Teresina Torre University of Genoa, Italy



The purpose of this paper is to deepen knowledge of entrepreneurial decision-making about global strategies. Towards this goal, it presents a conceptual framework useful for supporting entrepreneurial decisions for globalisation, drawing on an integrated analysis of the external environment and of the internal components, with a specific focus on entrepreneur’s characteristics, in terms of cognitive and emotional profiles. It is suggested to adopt a logical process to identify which strategic levers are available for global players to implement their global strategies. The paper provides several implications. In terms of theoretical implications, existing studies are based on the industrial organization-based theory or on the resource-based theory, while an integrated analysis combining these two aspects seems to be lacking. The proposed framework represents a complete and integrated one devoted to global strategies orientation, it also inserts the ‘entrepreneur matter’ as a variable that affects both the decision-making process and the global decisions’ contents. With regard to managerial implications, this framework can help global entrepreneurial firms or future global entrepreneurial firms to face problems related to the global dimension and make decisions to define the strategic levers for globalisation. It proposes the description of the various variables connected to the external environment, the features of the internal firm, and the personal traits of the entrepreneur, all elements which an entrepreneur-decision-maker should take into account during the decision-making process to attain a successful decision.

Author Biography

Clara Benevolo, University of Genoa, Italy

Full Professor, Department of Economics, Society and Politics (DESP)


Alvarez, S.A., & Barney, J.B. (2004). Organizing rent generation and appropriation: toward a theory of the entrepreneurial firm. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(5), 621-635.

Andersson, S. (2011). International entrepreneurship, born globals and the theory of effectuation. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 18(3), 627-643.

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York, NY: Freeman.

Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of management, 17(1), 99-120.

Baron, R.A. (2000). Counterfactual thinking and venture formation: the potential effect of thinking about “what might have been”. Journal of Business Venturing, 15(1), 79-91.

Baron, R.A. (2008). The role of affect in the entrepreneurial process. Academy of Management Review, 33(2), 328-340.

Bartlett, C.A., & Ghoshal, S. (1989). Managing Across Borders; The Transnational Solution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Bartlett, C.A., & Ghoshal, S. (1991). Global strategic management: Impact on the new frontiers of strategy research. Strategic Management Journal, 12(Summer), 5-16.

Baum, J.R., & Bird, B.J. (2010). The successful intelligence of high-growth entrepreneurs: Links to new venture growth. Organization Science, 21(2), 397-412.

Benevolo, C. (2013). Le strategie globali. Modelli di analisi e verifica empirica. Milano, IT: McGraw-Hill.

Berner, E., Gomez, G., & Knorringa, P. (2012). ‘Helping a large number of people become a little less poor’: The logic of survival entrepreneurs. The European Journal of Development Research, 24(3), 382-396.

Bertoli, G., & Resciniti, R. (2012) (Ed). International marketing and the country of origin effect: The global impact of 'made in Italy'. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Pub.

Bird, A., & Stevens, M.J. (2003). Toward an emergent global culture and the effects of globalization on obsolescing national cultures. Journal of International Management, 9(4), 395-407.

Birkinshaw, J., Morrison, A., & Hulland J, (1995). Structural and competitive determinants of a global integration strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 16(8), 637-655.

Bolzani, D., & Der Foo, M. (2018). The “why” of international entrepreneurship: uncovering entrepreneurs’ personal values. Small Business Economics, 51(3), 639-666.

Breugst, N., Domurath, A., Patzelt, H., & Klaukien, A. (2012). Perceptions of entrepreneurial passion and employees’ commitment to entrepreneurial ventures. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(1), 171-192.

Brundin, E., Patzelt, H. & Shepherd, D.A. (2008). Managers’ emotional display and employees’ willingness to act entrepreneurially. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(2), 221-243.

Buckley, P.J. (2002). Is the international business research agenda running out of steam?. Journal of international business studies, 33(2), 365-373.

Butler, J.E., Doktor, R., & Lins, F.A. (2010). Linking international entrepreneurship to uncertainty, opportunity, discovery and cognition. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 8(2), 121-134.

Caputo, A., Pellegrini, M., Dabic, M., & Paul Dana, L. (2016). Internationalisation of firms from Central and Eastern Europe: A systematic literature review. European business review, 28(6), 630-651.

Cardon, M.S., & Kirk, C.P. (2015). Entrepreneurial passion as mediator of the self–efficacy to persistence relationship. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 39(5), 1027-1050.

Cardon, M.S., Foo, M.D., Shepherd, D., & Wiklund, J. (2012). Exploring the heart: Entrepreneurial emotion is a hot topic. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 36(1), 1-10.

Cardon, M.S., Gregoire, D.A., Stevens, C.E., & Patel, P.C. (2013). Measuring entrepreneurial passion: Conceptual foundations and scale validation. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(3), 373-396.

Casson, M. (2005). Entrepreneurship and the theory of the firm. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 58(2), 327-348.

Cavusgil, S.T., & Knight, G. (2015). The born global firm: An entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(1), 3-16.

Chwolka, A., & Raith, M.G. (2012). The value of business planning before start-up—A decision-theoretical perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(3), 385-399.

Collis, D.J. (1991). A resource-based analysis of global competition: the case of the bearings industry. Strategic Management Journal, 12(Summer), Special Issue, 949-68.

De Backer, K., & Miroudot, S. (2012, April). Mapping global value chains. Paper presented at Final WIOD Conference: Causes and consequences of globalization. Groningen.

De Kluyver, C.A. (2010). Fundamentals of Global Strategy: a Business Model Approach. New York, NY: Business Expert Press.

De Winnaar, K., & Scholtz, F. (2019). Entrepreneurial decision-making: new conceptual perspectives. Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Delgado, M., Porter, M.E., & Stern, S. (2010). Clusters and entrepreneurship. Journal of economic geography, 10(4), 495-518.

Douglas, S.P., & Craig, C.S. (1995). Global Marketing Strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Doz, Y.L., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. (2001). From global to metanational: How companies win in the knowledge economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Dunning, J.H., Fujita, M., & Yakova, N. (2007). Some macro-data on the regionalisation/ globalisation debate: a comment on the Rugman/Verbeke analysis. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(1), 177-200.

Farrell, D. (2004). Beyond offshoring: assess your company’s global potential. Harvard Business Review, 82(12), 382-90.

Foo, M.D. (2009). Emotions and entrepreneurial opportunity evaluation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(2), 375-393.

Ghemawat, P. (2007). Redefining Global Strategy: Crossing Borders in a World Where Differences Still Matter. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Ghoshal, S. (1987). Global strategy: an organizing framework. Strategic Management Journal, 8(5), 425-40.

Govindarajan, V., & Gupta, A.K. (2001). The Quest for Global Dominance: Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hamel, G., & Prahalad, C.K. (1994). Competing for the Future. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Harzing, A.W. (2000). An empirical analysis and extension of the Bartlett and Ghoshal typology of multinational companies. Journal of International Business Studies, 31(1), 101-120.

Higgins, E.T. (2005). Value from regulatory fit. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(4), 209-213.

Hofstede, F.T., Steenkamp, J.B.E., & Wedel, M. (1999). International market segmentation based on consumer-product relations. Journal of Marketing Research, 36(February), 1-17.

Hult, G.T.M., Closs, D., & Frayer, D. (2014). Global Supply Chain Management. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Ingram, A., Peake, W.O., Stewart, W., & Watson, W. (2019). Emotional intelligence and venture performance. Journal of Small Business Management, 57(3), 780-800.

Inkpen, A.C., & Ramaswamy, K. (2006). Global Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Advantage Across Borders. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Jones, M.V., & Coviello, N.E. (2005). Internationalisation: conceptualising an entrepreneurial process of behaviour in time. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(3), 284-303.

Kim, J.U. and Aguilera, R.V. (2015). The world is spiky: An internationalization framework for a semi‐globalized world. Global Strategy Journal, 5 2), 113-132

Klein, P.G. (2008). Opportunity discovery, entrepreneurial action, and economic organization. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2(3), 175-190.

Knight, G.A., & Cavusgil, S.T. (2005). A taxonomy of born-global firms. MIR: Management International Review, 45(3), 15-35.

Koellinger, P. (2008). Why are some entrepreneurs more innovative than others?. Small Business Economics, 31(1), 21-37.

Krause, D.E. (2004). Influence based leadership as determinant of the inclination to innovate and or innovation-related behaviour: an empirical investigation. Leadership Quarterly, 15(1), 79-102.

Lasserre, P. (2007). Global strategic management. 2 ed., London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Levitt, T. (1983). The globalization of markets. Harvard Business Review, 61(3), May-June, 92-102.

Lorange, P. (1980). Corporate Planning. An Executive Viewpoint. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Lumpkin, G.T., & Dess, G.G. (1996). Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Academy of management Review, 21(1), 135-172.

Lunenburg, F.C. (2011). Decision making in organizations. International Journal of Management. Business and Administration, 15(1), 1-9.

Mintzberg, H. (1987). Crafting strategy. Harvard Business Review, 65, 66-75

Musso, F., & Francioni, B. (2012). Foreign markets entry mode decision for Italian small and medium-sized enterprises. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(2), 3-16.

Musso, F., & Francioni, B. (2013). The decision-making process in international business strategies: factors of influence on small and medium enterprises. International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics, 2(2), 1-22.

O'Cass, A., & Weerawardena, J. (2009). Examining the role of international entrepreneurship, innovation and international market performance in SME internationalisation. European journal of marketing, 43(11/12), 1325-1348.

Pellegrini, M., & Ciappei, C. (2015). Ethical Judgment and Radical Business Changes: The Role of Entrepreneurial Perspicacity. Journal of Business Ethics, 128(4), 769–788.

Penco, L., Ivaldi, E., Bruzzi, C., & Musso, E. (2020). Knowledge-based urban environments and entrepreneurship: Inside EU cities. Cities, 96, 102443.

Peng, M.W. (2004). Identifying the big question in international business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(2), 99-108.

Peng, M.W. (2014). Global Strategy. 3rd ed., Mason (OH): Cengage Learning.

Porter, M.E. (1986). (Ed.) Competition in Global Industries. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Porter, M.E. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Porter, M.E. (2000). Location, competition and economic development: Local clusters in the global economy, Economic development quarterly, 14(1), 15-31.

Roth, K., Schweiger, D.M., & Morrison, A.J. (1991). Global strategy implementation at the business unit level: operational capabilities and administrative mechanisms. Journal of international business studies, 22(3), 369-402.

Rugman A.M. & Verbeke A. (2004). A perspective on regional and global strategies of multinational enterprises. Journal of international business studies, 35(1), 3-18.

Sadler-Smith, E. (2004). Cognitive style and the management of small and medium-sized enterprises. Organization Studies, 25(2), 155–181.

Salovey, P., & Mayer, J.D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, cognition and personality, 9(3), 185-211.

Sarasvathy, S., Kumar, K., York, J.G., & Bhagavatula, S. (2014). An effectual approach to international entrepreneurship: Overlaps, challenges, and provocative possibilities. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(1), 71-93.

Sarasvathy, S.D. (2001). Causation and effectuation: toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243–263.

Sarti, D., & Torre, T. (2019). ICT Use and Job Satisfaction. The Moderating Role of Task Characteristics. In Organizing for Digital Innovation, pp. 11-26. Cham, CH: Springer.

Sawhney, R. (2006). Interplay between uncertainty and flexibility across the value-chain: towards a transformation model of manufacturing flexibility. Journal of operations management, 24(5), 476-493.

Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2000). The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 25(1), 217–226.

Shepherd, D.A. (2015). Party On! A call for entrepreneurship research that is more interactive, activity based, cognitively hot, compassionate, and prosocial. Journal of Business Venturing, 30(4), 489-507.

Shepherd, N.G., & Rudd, J.M. (2014). The influence of context on the strategic decision-making process: a review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16(3), 340-364.

Simon, H.A. (1991). Bounded rationality and organizational learning. Organization science, 2(1), 125-134.

Spulber, D.F. (2007). Global Competitive Strategy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Sternberg, R.J. (2004). Successful intelligence as a basis for entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Venturing, 19(2), 189-201.

Tan, J. (2001). Innovation and risk-taking in a transitional economy: A comparative study of Chinese managers and entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 16(4), 359-376.

Teece, D.J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1997). Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strategic management journal, 18(7), 509-533.

Trent, R.J., & Monczka, R.M. (2005). Achieving excellence in global sourcing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(1), 24-32.

Verbeke, A., & Ciravegna, L. (2018). International entrepreneurship research versus international business research: A false dichotomy?. Journal of International Business Studies, 49(4), 387-394.

Wakkee, I., Elfring, T., & Monaghan, S. (2010). Creating entrepreneurial employees in traditional service sectors. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 6(1), 1-21.

Welpe, I.M., Spörrle, M., Grichnik, D., Michl, T., & Audretsch, D.B. (2012). Emotions and opportunities: The interplay of opportunity evaluation, fear, joy, and anger as antecedent of entrepreneurial exploitation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(1), 69-96.

Welpe, I.M., Spörrle, M., Grichnik, D., Treffers, T., & Audretsch, D.B. (2011). I think it’s good, but I’m also afraid: the interplay of opportunity evaluation and emotions as antecedent of entrepreneurial exploitation. Indiana University-Bloomington: School of Public & Environmental Affairs Research Paper, No. 2011-04-03. Available at SSRN:

Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: A configurational approach. Journal of Business Venturing, 20(1), 71–91.

Yaprak, A., Xu, S., & Cavusgil, E. (2011). Effective global strategy implementation. Management International Review, 51(2), 179-192.

Yip, G.S. (1989). Global strategy… In a world of nations?. Sloan Management Review, 31(1), (Fall), 29-41.

Yip, G.S. (1992). Total Global Strategy: Managing for Worldwide Competitive Advantages, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Yip, G.S. (2000). Global strategy in the internet era. Business Strategy Review, 11(4), 1-14.

Yip, G.S. (2003). Total Global Strategy II: Updated for the Internet and Service Era. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Zahra, S.A., Korri, J.S., & Yu, J. (2005). Cognition and international entrepreneurship: implications for research on international opportunity recognition and exploitation. International business review, 14(2), 129-146.

Zou, S., & Cavusgil, S.T. (1996). Global strategy: A review and an integrated conceptual framework. European Journal of Marketing, 30(1), 52-69.

Zucchella, A., & Magnani, G. (2016). International entrepreneurship: theoretical foundations and practices. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.