Assessing the internationalization profile of the firm: a multidimensional approach

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The aim of this paper is to provide a methodological contribution to literature on the analysis of firm internationalization. Building on the recognition of the variety of aspects associated with international expansion, this paper focuses on a multidimensional view of multinationality and aims at identifying a number of dimensions which are to be separately considered to have an exhaustive picture of the internationalization profile of a firm. A more comprehensive multidimensional methodology is presented and contrasted with existing approaches in the field, which adopt either unidimensional or composite index-based measures of the degree of internationalization of the firm. Specifically, the framework developed in the paper is based on six dimensions of multinationality: Internationalization from demand/market side, Resources located abroad, Geographical scope, International orientation, Financial internationalization, Internationalization of the business network. In order to show the potential as well as the issues related to the proposed methodology, the preliminary results of an exploratory study, based on the application of the six-dimensional model of internationalization to a small number of Italian SMEs firms in the machine tools industry, are presented. Finally, the potential value-add of this methodology to international business literature is discussed and a research agenda is proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Internationalization and International Management
EditorsJorma Larimo
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • firm internationalization
  • internationalization profile
  • multinationality


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