Sami Saarenketo

Sami Saarenketo
Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology LUT · School of Business and Management

D. Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.)

About

98
Publications
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March 2004 - present
Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology LUT
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (98)
Chapter
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a crisis that has impacted international business and entrepreneurship globally. Many small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been particularly hard hit, yet many are also finding strategies to survive and even thrive in this "new normal". This chapter highlights the survival strategies of S...
Article
Full-text available
Digital technologies have led to born-digital companies, defined by their highly digitalized value chains, designed at their inception. Born-digital (BD) companies leverage digitalization across their value chains in the internationalization path. However, despite this emergence, very few empirical studies in international business literature have...
Article
The determinants of foreign market entry and success among family-controlled small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not received much attention in research, and especially the role of strategic orientations noted crucial in international entrepreneurship, is still unclear in the family business context. In this study, we respond to these o...
Article
Research on international entrepreneurship has studied entrepreneurial orientation’s influence on the international performance of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs), but scholars need to learn more about the mechanisms that allow a firm to translate its entrepreneurial orientation into new opportunities to enter foreign markets. In this study, we...
Conference Paper
Since digitalization is an emerging phenomenon in the research fields of international business and international entrepreneurship, we argue that the scant knowledge provided by extant literature does not sufficiently describe whether or not digitalization influences the international performance of Internet-enabled companies. Thus, in this study,...
Conference Paper
Digital technologies have led to the emergence of a new type of companies that leverage digitalization across their value chains in the internationalization process. These companies, recently defined as born-digital (BD) companies, have their value-chain highly digitalized at inception. Very few empirical studies in international business have focu...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This paper aims to explore the underlying reasons for business model change among internationalizing SMEs and illustrate how home market context affects that change. Design/methodology/approach This is a comparative case study of two companies with similar backgrounds from different countries of origin. In each case, the data were collecte...
Article
Purpose: Little research has been done on the emergence of companies that engage in increasingly digital entrepreneurship with digitalized value-chain activities. The extant literature provides an inconsistent picture of how value-chain digitalization affects companies’ internationalization and international marketing, and gives no insights regardi...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to provide a foundational understanding of the internationalization of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the context of renewable energy markets. The focus is on exploring and identifying the managerial-, firm- and environmental-level antecedents to their international expansion, which also...
Chapter
The entrepreneurial-ecosystem concept has recently gained renewed attention among entrepreneurship scholars, yet research in the fields of regional studies and international entrepreneurship has stayed notably silent on the role that incubating environments can have in driving entrepreneurial activities in developing rapidly internationalising born...
Article
Full-text available
Academic research is increasingly emphasizing the critical role of business models (BMs) and business model innovation (BMI) in the international entrepreneurship (IE) domain, yet empirical studies on the topic are quite limited. This study demo0nstrates the role of BMI and entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in the internationalization of small-and m...
Chapter
The impact of the digitalization phenomenon on international entrepreneurship and international business has, until now, received little attention from the research community, and the major models of internationalization do not fully address the digitalized type of company. In response, this chapter aims to conceptualize the idea that the emergence...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the relevance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The role of CSR in SMEs has so far been scarcely researched, and the relationship between internationalisation and CSR development in SMEs, in particular, could do with the further study. Since it has been found th...
Article
The concept of the entrepreneurial ecosystem has recently started gaining renewed attention in the crossroads of international business and entrepreneurship fields on investigating the role of the entrepreneurial environments in driving the growth and internationalisation of new firms. This is a central theme to address, as the strengths and weakne...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: We examine the impact of institutional environment and network competence on internationalization speed and performance of SMEs. Design/methodology/approach: This is a quantitative study conducted via a cross-sectional survey of SMEs across five industry sectors. The effective sample of 119 internationally operating Finnish SMEs is analyz...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Business model experimentation is an increasingly popular research topic in business model literature. There are few studies analysing business model experimentation in the context of internationalizing SME's, however. The objective of this paper is to identify different ways of conducting business model experimentation in internationalizing SME's....
Chapter
Full-text available
Outstanding Author Contribution in the 2019 Emerald Literati Awards The concept of global mindset was introduced more than a decade ago as a prerequisite for successful internationalisation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the pace of global integration and globalisation has accelerated, and complexity has increased. Therefo...
Conference Paper
Purpose - Little research has been done to date on the emergence of a new category of enterprise that engages in increasingly digital entrepreneurship with digitalized value chain activities. Extant literature provides a less consistent picture of exactly how digitalization of the value chain affects the internationalization of companies. Moreover,...
Chapter
Full-text available
This study examines an emerging yet somewhat neglected theme in international and global marketing literature, namely, the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and market-sensing capability in international enterprises. Specifically, we illustrate how CSR and market-sensing capability impact international performance in the context of smal...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The objective of this study is to develop a framework of the elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the context of born global startups. The study also applies this framework to uncover the ecosystem elements that impact startups during their initial phases of discovery and validation. Design/methodology/approach We employed an onl...
Book
Full-text available
Boosting the internationalization of small and medium-sized Finnish cleantech enterprises (SMEs) requires identification of the related best practices, cooperation with companies operating in the cleantech sector and finding commonly used functional solutions and tools for the cleantech sector. There was a need for such a study, because SMEs ofte...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines how national-level, firm-level and individual-level predictors influence a venture’s likelihood of internationalisation based on a data set adapted from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data set in 2009, covering 10,920 individual ventures in 54 countries. We found that socially oriented (or early-stage) ventures are...
Chapter
Full-text available
The impact of environmental sustainability and knowledge dynamics on entrepreneurial growth and internationalization could do with added research focus. However, the rising importance of corporate sustainability and social responsibility in global business and entrepreneurship increasingly requires that these interdependencies be assessed. We asses...
Chapter
Concepts relating to corporate sustainability (CS) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have remained vastly under-explored in international entrepreneurship literature. The recent reviews by Jones et al. (2011) and Peiris et al. (2012) do not find a single study of CSR and indicate that sustainability is discussed in the traditional sense of...
Chapter
Literature on SME internationalisation often ignores that internationalisation is a process that involves the whole value producing chain of activities. This chapter takes a holistic view to the internationalisation of an SME by examining, also its capabilities to manage the value chain. Therefore, it makes an important contribution to organisation...
Article
We examined how home country formal institutions and the venture’s value orientation influenced the venture’s likelihood of internationalization based on a data set that was adapted from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data in the year 2009, covering 7668 individual ventures in 25 countries. Better-developed home country formal institutio...
Chapter
Full-text available
Socially oriented organizations, such as social ventures and nonprofit organizations, fill the gap between the public sector and the private sector and alleviate the unsolved social pains. Socially oriented organizations can internationalize their operations, but international business scholars knew little about internationalization of socially ori...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study is to examine how network competence is related to the growth of domestic and international SMEs originating from the Nordic region. Business networks have been found to drive internationalization of SMEs in the Nordic context, but the impact of network-related organizational competencies on them has not been considered. We a...
Article
Full-text available
Entrepreneurial ventures from Latin American emerging economies are underexplored on the current international entrepreneurship literature. This paper is aimed to contribute empirical evidence on entrepreneurial ventures from Latin American emerging economies and their internationalization and value orientation. Based on the 2009 Global Entrepreneu...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we investigate the influence of business strategies upon the internationalisation of SMEs. In particular, we investigate the effect of strategic aim for unique products development and quality focus, the two business strategies suggested to be linked to the international performance of rapidly internationalising firms by Knight and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important part in the Finnish economy. In this chapter an overview of the internationalizing Finnish SMEs, their strategies, resources, product offerings and growth and international growth orientation is given. On the basis of primary data collected from the Finnish SMEs in five industries (N = 298...
Chapter
There is ample evidence suggesting that the business networks of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) drive the internationalization process. Network competence, in other words the ability of SMEs to develop and manage key business relationships with their suppliers, customers and other key actors, tends to increase the propensity to expand b...
Article
Purpose – This study aims to examine the effect of firm-specific customer relationship orientation, technology orientation and the marketing–R&D cooperation on market performance. Although the importance of customer focus in R&D has been widely recognized in the literature, less attention has been paid to customer relationship orientation and the s...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the role of international experience in value creation in business models in internationalising software SME's. While business models as such have been subject to extensive research their study in the context of international entrepreneurial firms has remained scant. The empirical part of the paper focuses on eight Finnish inter...
Article
Full-text available
Business models and business model change have drawn increasing attention from both researchers and practitioners across various disciplines, including the domain of entrepreneurship. However, even though the importance of business model innovation as a driver of firm performance has been widely acknowledged, empirical studies explaining the busine...
Chapter
There is general consensus in the field of international business research that the institutional environment provides an influence on the establishment of a firm’s operations across borders. For smaller firms, the role of the institutional environment becomes even bigger than for large multinational enterprises, as they lack bargaining power and t...
Article
This paper extends current understanding on international growth process of born global firms from the perspective of strategic decision-making. The data were collected from three software companies in Finland, Ireland and Israel both in real-time and retrospectively, and data triangulation was employed to increase the validity of the findings. Wit...
Article
This article investigates venture failure in the context of rapid internationalisation using a literature-based framework and four illustrative cases from Finland and Ireland. In addition to introducing a contextualised definition of failure, we offer a holistic framework for analysing failure in future studies while also identifying critical incid...
Article
The paper examines the interrelationships among the domestic institutional environment for entrepreneurship, a firm’s innovation capability, and an SME’s decision to grow using an internationalization or innovation-based strategy. The effects of both the external institutional environment and the internal dynamic capabilities on the firm’s subseque...
Article
Purpose ‐ This study aims to identify the organizational antecedents of intra-organizational customer knowledge dissemination in the context of key account management (KAM). Design/methodology/approach ‐ The data were collected from large industrial companies in Finland by means of a structured survey. Linear hierarchical regression analysis was us...
Article
Purpose ‐ Firms need to reach out for external knowledge in order to keep up with the pace of the markets and to renew themselves. Although research on open innovation and open knowledge search strategies is continuously accumulating, there are as yet only few studies examining the antecedents of the decision to use various external knowledge sourc...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine what kind of motives and practices company has for employer branding in power industry. The objective is to find out the benefits of employer branding and how it is targeted towards potential and current employees. In addition, the aim is to examine whether companies see employer branding as a proces...
Article
Purpose – This study aims to examine what the role of key account teams is in the management of international key account customers in terms of customer knowledge processing behaviours of the supplier, esprit de corps of employees and supplier's key account performance. Design/methodology/approach – Survey data from large industrial firms in Finla...
Article
In order to balance their local and global operations optimally, SMEs are moving toward a ‘global factory’ type of organizational form, meaning a differentiated network of activities held together through the control of key assets and flows of knowledge, and coordinated by a focal firm. Managing such a network requires a specific dynamic capability...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the conceptual frameworks and concepts with which the research on internationalization patterns of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should be conducted. Design/methodology/approach – A comprehensive overview of concepts and a conceptual framework to study internationalization...
Article
The already well-documented emergence of born globals, or international new ventures, has created a demand for new approaches to internationalization. The main models challenging the 'traditional' process identified in the literature are the born-global and 'born-again' global internationalization patterns, which differ in terms of pace and degree...
Article
The internationalisation of innovation has become increasingly common. With this change, the significance of managing and safeguarding innovations and intellectual property in international environment has risen to new levels, yet challenges are notable as well. Firms face the pressure to find, obtain, and use tools and mechanisms that would enable...
Chapter
International business researchers have been interested in the choice of a company’s foreign operation mode since the 1960s (Hymer 1960, 1976), and there is good reason to conclude that this has become an established field of research (Benito et al., 2010; Werner 2002). Therefore, one might question whether there is really a need for another study...
Article
This study examines the use of value-add partners in the internationalization process of small software producers. The characteristics of the software industry are presented and the value networks of this industry are illustrated. The software market is characterized by high-levels of uncertainty. The nature of the market supports externalization t...
Article
Full-text available
For systemic software products the role of channel intermediaries is twofold. There is a need for a distributor/re tailer and the product co-developer at the same time. In this paper, a network model describing the business-to-business software industry is proposed. This model presents activities that enhance value creation.
Article
Purpose – The role that network competence, environmental hostility and knowledge intensiveness of the industry have on the propensity of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to internationalise is examined. Design/methodology/approach – Hypotheses are developed, based on earlier literature on the subject. Subsequently, binary logistic regres...
Article
Firms grow either by launching new products (innovation) or by attracting new customers (internationalization) or by using a mixed strategy. An interesting question is whether innovation and internationalization activities are complementary or substitutive. The paper discusses the connections between technological capabilities, their appropriabilit...
Article
Purpose – In order to respond to the call for a broader perspective on the internationalization of entrepreneurial firms, this study aims to bring the business model concept to the context of international entrepreneurship, with special emphasis on the notion of value formation and value exchange at company interfaces. Design/methodology/approach –...
Article
In a high-velocity industry such as ICT (information and communication technology), the technological capabilities of the firm constitute its most critical assets. The purpose of this study is to empirically explore and classify the technological capabilities of small high-tech firms. The study uses data from 124 Finnish companies operating in the...
Article
There has been a debate on the role of market and customer knowledge in new product development, especially with regard to radical innovations. Although it has been stressed that market knowledge competence influences both innovative and business performance, the effects of its elements on different dimensions of innovation radicalness have not bee...
Chapter
Expansion to international markets requires changes in company strategy in order for it to fit into the novel environment (Calof and Beamish, 1995; Lam and White, 1999; McDougall and Oviatt, 1996). However, prior research on international entrepreneurship (IE) provides only a limited understanding of how companies change during internationalization...
Conference Paper
This paper describes a contingency framework for analysis of partnering strategies in software business, a context where international entrepreneurship is highly manifest. The framework (rooted in the literature on international alliances and partnering) consists of three-by-three matrix with the following dimensions: The product strategy of the fi...
Article
Full-text available
Research findings suggest that networks offer small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) opportunities to internationalize successfully. However, the role of internal organizational competence in the process of developing and maintaining such networks in hostile external environments has received little attention. The aim of this study is to shed li...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the paper The aim of the paper is to empirically examine whether and how the prior experience influences the internationalization of the firm, i.e. are there differences to be found between habitual and novice entrepreneurial firms, for example. The contribution to the literature Our understanding of the role of knowledge and experien...
Article
Purpose – This study analyzes international new ventures (INVs) by means of the classification developed by Oviatt and McDougall (1994): global start-ups (GSUs) are compared with other types of INVs. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical data for the study were collected via a Web-based survey of Finnish ICT companies. Particular emphasis was...
Article
Purpose – The establishment and growth of new ventures play a major role in wealth creation in most industrialized economies. Consequently, there is much emphasis these days on how to foster their growth, and on determining the fundamental prerequisites. The purpose of this paper is to propose an evolutionary knowledge-based framework for understan...
Article
This study offers a contribution to our understanding of the role of a global mindset in the successful internationalization of small and medium-sized companies. The particular focus is on the drivers of the global mindset and the connection with performance. We created a framework and tested it, empirically, with a representative sample of small F...
Article
Purpose – This paper addresses the strategic orientations (entrepreneurial orientation, learning orientation, and market orientation) of rapidly internationalizing small software companies. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical analysis is based on an intensive investigation of ten small Finnish software companies that have exhibited rapid an...
Chapter
Internationalization can be defined as a growth process that is tightly intertwined with the company’s other activities. However, during the last decade we have witnessed clear acceleration in this process, as the time span in all areas of business development has shortened. It is not surprising, therefore, that researchers have also started to emp...
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the role of market orientation in the internationalisation of small software firms. Design/methodology/approach – The study combines qualitative case studies with quantitative data from the firms in question. Findings – Market orientation in the internationalisation of knowledge-intensive small firms consists of...
Article
This paper examines the internationalization of Finnish information and communication technology (ICT) firms from the knowledge-based perspective. Building on transaction cost economics and modern economics-based strategy research, this study presents a model that explores the influence of six important knowledge determinants on two key elements of...
Article
This paper contributes to the current internationalization theory by linking the characteristics of the firm's resource-base, its market-entry timing orientation and international growth orientation so as to shed more light on internationalization strategies. By employing multi-industry data, we find that the nature of the firm's knowledge, its ent...