By using a sample of 644 manufacturing firms in four EU countries and five regions, we investigate the earliness/ exporting relationship. Firstly, we examine the firm’s ability to retain LAN over time as it gets older and bigger. Secondly, we examine the role played by the firm’s decision-making structure. Our results reveal that exporting sclerosis does set in, as age and size of the firm significantly and negatively affect the earliness/exporting relationship. In addition, however, we find that centralization plays a role in the sclerotic effects of size (though only weakly for age), exacerbating their moderating effects on the earliness/exporting relationship. Our study claims to contribute to internationalization research by advancing the idea that LAN is not path-dependent but subject to liabilities. Beyond age and size, we add the more nuanced “liability of centralization” to boundary conditions for retaining LAN. Theoretical and managerial implications emerge.
- Earliness of internationalization
- Family firm