Project business: A distinct mode of internationalization

Richard A. Owusu, Maqsood Sandhu, Sören Kock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The aim of the paper is to elaborate a framework of project business as a distinct mode of internationalization. The uniqueness and complexity of project business as a core mode are portrayed by comparing it with other internationalization modes. It is agreed that a single project sale is a discrete form of direct involvement in a foreign market. However, this provides opportunities for network interactions that can facilitate further project business openings in a foreign market and on a global level. Design/methodology/approach - Using the abductive method, the paper constructs a comparative framework of project business and other forms of internationalization. It illustrates the discussion with a longitudinal case study of a company that uses project business as its strategic choice for its internationalization. Findings - The paper finds that, using project business as its core internationalization mode, the company has expanded its global business as well as entering and succeeding in foreign business networks. It proposes that the network and relationship-based project business approach is viable as a strategic alternative for internationalization on its own or in combination with other modes. Research limitations/implications - The study provides a framework for positioning project business as a separate internationalization mode. It provides a comparative framework for internationalization modes. Practical implications - This study provides managers with an understanding of project business as a distinct and profitable mode of internationalization. It illuminates the network and relationship-building aspects of project business. Originality/value - According to the research, this is the first study that proposes project business as a distinct mode of internationalization. Much previous research has either not mentioned project business or subsumed it as an unimportant part of exports. The framework developed in this study should spur new research on the issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-714
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • International business
  • International marketing
  • Market entry
  • Modelling
  • Project planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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