Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in International Business Review 14:2 (April 2005), pp. 129–146; doi: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2004.04.005


Copyright © 2004 Shaker A. Zahra, Juha Santeri Korri, and JiFeng Yu; published by Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


International entrepreneurship (IE) research has grown rapidly, encompassing many industries and world regions. Past IE research has examined the macro, industry and firm-specific variables that lead to companies’ early internationalization and its financial and non-financial outcomes. Most prior IE research has been correlational in focus and static in design. Focusing on early internationalization, we propose that a significant shift can occur in IE research by applying a cognitive perspective and examining how entrepreneurs recognize and exploit opportunities in international markets. A cognitive approach will allow researchers to probe entrepreneurs’ motivations to internationalize and capture their mental models. The article highlights the benefits to be gained from and the challenges associated with using a cognitive approach to IE research.