An analysis of the internationalization of small Brazilian software companies
This article analyzes the internationalization process of small Brazilian software firms from the theoretical basis of a model that synthesizes the perspectives of experiential learning, systematic planning and the contingency approach applied to the internationalization of firms. The empirical base is a sample of firms in the software sector located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The first step of the study entailed gathering data on a sample of 29 firms with international presence. From this sample, five cases were selected for a qualitative analysis from a multiple-case study approach. The results indicate that the internationalization of small firms is not a consequence of long-range planning, but rather of opportunities perceived by entrepreneurs in their relationships. Besides this, the study reveals that organizational capabilities are a key factor in this process and that the lack of knowledge about the external market is the main obstacle to the internationalization of the software firms investigated.