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Digital internationalizing firms (dif’s): a systematic literature review and future research agenda

Silvia Piqueras


This article analyzes the content and evolution of the research in the field of International Business and Entrepreneurship to develop a more complete understanding of how digital firms internationalize. We conducted a rigorous search of articles published in high impact journals. The main findings reveal that there is still no consensus on the definition of digital firms and their internationalization processes. Thus, the applicability of the internationalization theories to digital ways of conducting business needs to be challenged.  Future research should advance in this aspect. Likewise, it is both needed and important to conduct more empirical research that analyze the international expansion of digital firms and their internationalization patterns. In response to this, we examine in the extant literature how mainly internationalizing digital companies can be defined, measured and classified based on their Business Models. Although there are still few academic publications regarding the degree of digitalization of SMEs and how digitalization of their Business Model affects their internationalization, the number of articles is widely increasing in the field of International Business and Entrepreneurship, as are opportunities for future research.


digitalization, international business, international entrepreneurship;digital business models; internet-based.

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ISSN 0394-7947 / eISSN: 2421-5724