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date: 17 June 2024

Internationalization Processeslocked

Internationalization Processeslocked

  • Catherine WelchCatherine WelchStrategic Management, Trinity College Dublin
  •  and Peter W. LieschPeter W. LieschInternational Business, University of Queensland


The Uppsala internationalization process (IP) model is one of the few long-standing developments in the international business (IB) field to have maintained pre-eminence into the early 21st century. Scholars at Uppsala University were early proponents of research on firm internationalization processes, advancing a model that defined the “Uppsala School” in IB. The attention that the model has received is justified, attesting to its continued relevance since it was first proposed in the 1970s. While welcomed, this attention has, however, not succeeded in capturing the theoretical essence of this model and its potential in further developing IP theory.

The consequence of this failure in the IB field is profound, as the full promise of research on the internationalizing firm, as well as the firm’s expansion into markets overseas, is yet to be realized. It can be asked, What then is the Uppsala IP model? Answering this question requires addressing common misconceptions about the model that have circulated for decades. These misconceptions continue to circulate, constraining theorizing on this topic. Dispelling these misconceptions and specifying what the IP model is provides the IB field fresh insights into what it could be when developed further in the future.


  • International Business

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