I. B. and digital transformation: an emerging market perspective

International Business and digital transformation: an emerging market perspective

Submission Deadline: 15 Janeiro 2025

Guest Editors

Clarice Kogut, IAG/PUC-Rio, Brazil

Luiza Neves M. da Fonseca, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico

Veneta Andonova, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Fábio Paula, IAG/PUC-Rio, Brazil





Digital technologies have prompted radical changes in the market (Verhoef et al., 2021) and business environment that “no firm can afford to overlook” it (Dagnino & Resciniti, 2021, p.968). As such, their adoption has significantly impacted the operations and internationalization strategies of companies, increasing the scholarly interest in the interplay between digitalization and internationalization (Bergamaschi et al, 2021). Digital transformation (comprising technologies such as big data, analytics, Internet of things, multisided platforms, etc.) offer firms significant business opportunities on the global level (Banalieva & Dhanaraj, 2019; Song & Wu, 2021). The Internet has been established as a facilitator of internationalization for small resource-constrained businesses (Arenius, Sasi & Gabrielsson, 2005), and more recently, as the resource base of a core competence (Cahen & Borini, 2020). Digital resources have raised the possibility to serve international markets from inception, making them truly “born digital” (companies born in cloud technology, all-digital processes from inception with high potential to reach global markets - Monaghan et al., 2020). However, the mechanisms of cross-border knowledge transfer and the necessary set of firm  resources and competences have not been yet convincingly established have included the monetization of digital assets and the retention of global users (Stallkamp, Hunt & Schotter, 2022; Verbeke & Hutzschenreuter, 2021) but much remains to be done.

Digital transformation, defined as “a change in how a firm employs digital technologies, to develop a new digital business model that helps to create and appropriate more value for the firm” (Verhoef et al., 2021), has significantly impacted how entrepreneurs perceive international opportunities and equip themselves to pursue them (Bergamaschi el al, 2021) as it impacts perception, speed and width on internationalization processes (Dagnino & Resciniti, 2021). Song and Wu (2021, p. 269) classify digital technologies as "driving forces" and "disruptive forces" that respectively facilitate and alter the relative importance of acquiring general and specific knowledge influencing the pursuit of international opportunities. Digital strategies enhance companies' information processing capabilities (Cahen & Borini, 2020), enabling them to engage in a variety of online activities, including product development, pricing and communication, sales, market research, and relationship management (Jean & Kim, 2020). A substantial body of research acknowledges the role of digital strategies as export facilitators by reducing the liabilities of newness and foreignness (Cavusgil & Knight, 2015; Dagnino & Resciniti, 2021), cutting transaction costs (Monaghan et al., 2020), and even altering perceptions of distance (Bergamaschi et al, 2021).

Banalieva & Dhanaraj (2019) also highlight that digital transformation may alter companies’ FSAs, allowing for “asset-light internationalization”. Consequently, it has lowered the minimum scale required for internationalization, allowing companies to "leapfrog" and expedite the process (Luo & Tung, 2018). Digital Platform Firms are focused on providing digital infrastructure, information and technology, while enabling direct interaction and creating value by linking different user groups and complementors, often at the international level (Brouthers, Geisser & Rothlauf, 2016). Their emergence has been subject to multiple IB inquiries and theory development, specially related to the role of international networks and firm-specific advantages (Hennart, 2019; Ojala, Evers & Rialp, 2018; Stallkamp & Schotter, 2021).

In emerging countries and in countries from the Global South where companies' information, communication, and technology capabilities, as well as resources, are scarcer, developing them can significantly influence businesses' decisions and the intensity of their export activity (Andonova, Casanova, Finchelstein & Garcían 2023; Hagsten & Kotnik, 2017). Recent theoretical and empirical studies have highlighted the advantages associated with the use of digital strategies by smaller enterprises (for example, Andonova, Nikolova & Dimitrov, 2019; Jean & Kim, 2020; Nambisan, 2017; Nambisan, Zahra & Luo, 2019). Not only are Digital Platforms known to facilitate international entry of SMEs, but they may also have an impact reducing the exit hazard of exporters (Deng et al., 2022; Fonseca, Kogut, & da Rocha, 2023).

Historically, International Business (IB) and International Entrepreneurship (IE) theories, alongside most other management theories, have been developed and predominantly tested in traditional and developed markets such as Europe and the US, with samples drawn from companies within these regions. Furthermore, they were conceptualized during a period predating the current level of digitalization. Therefore, new assessments from different regions are necessary to enhance our understanding of digital internationalization. Emerging markets now constitute a substantial portion of global foreign direct investment (FDI), both as hosts (53%) and as home countries (26%) (UNCTAD, 2022). Nonetheless, there has been limited research investigating the extent to which companies from emerging markets utilize digital strategies for internationalization. Cuervo-Cazurra (2016) suggests leveraging Multilatinas (MNEs from Latin America) as a "laboratory for extending existing theories and models" (p.1963).

In light of these considerations, we echo other scholars and invite researchers to engage in the debate. Specifically, we ask how can the digital internationalization (Dagnino & Resciniti, 2021) efforts of EM companies and more broadly companies from the Global South contribute to advancing the literature? In what ways do these firms diverge from  the ones in traditional markets regarding their digital internationalization strategies? There is a pressing need for research into digital internationalization (Bergamaschi, 2021; Dagnino & Resciniti, 2021) as well as their overarching challenges. How does operating within a challenging context impact the development and internationalization of digital firms? Valuable insights could also arise from contrasting Multilatinas with Asian multinationals or other EMNEs (e.g. Losada-Otálora & Andonova, 2022).

This Special Issue encourages submissions of both theoretical and empirical manuscripts, with qualitative and quantitative approaches. We invite contributions on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to the above-discussed. 

  • International digital business ecosystems
  • Internationalization in the digital age (Digital business models, Digital Platform Firms)
  • Intra and inter organizational impacts of digital transformation
  • Internationalization through digital platforms/social media
  • Digital strategies for SMEs’ internationalization
  • International strategies, specific characteristics and challenges of Digital Platform Firms
  • Global innovation ecosystems
  • Digital strategies in international marketing
  • Digital resources, capabilities, and Firm-Specific Advantages (FSAs) for internationalization
  • Risks, challenges and liabilities related to digital internationalization
  • Internationalization of digital service multinational enterprises
  • Digital transformation effects on distances and customer value
  • Digital awareness, readiness and/or mindset of firms
  • Digital transformation impacts on global value-chains
  • Emerging markets characteristics’ (liabilities, economic and institutional conditions, etc.) influence on the internationalization of digital firms or entrepreneurial firms through digital means

Reasons to submit

As scholars and guest editors of this Special Issue, we are honestly interested in emerging markets and companies from the Global South and invite you to submit your papers to Internext - International Business and Management Review, a journal open to research contributions that study the realities and business phenomena in these understudied domains. We believe contributing to theory building from emerging markets  also entails contributing to developing quality journals and publications that contribute to intellectual and academic diversity recognizing the importance of the business dynamics from the Global South, .


Internext is one of the main indexed journals of international business in Latin America and the official journal of the Graduate Program in Business Administration at ESPM - Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing.

Broadly, the journal aims to open possibilities to articles about theoretical discussions with bibliographical content, understanding that critical thinking in the international field is as essential as empirical research. Nowadays, Internext is classified by the CAPES Qualis System as an "A3" journal and indexed at Readalyc, Thompson Reuters (under evaluation), Redib, EbscoHost, Spell, Gale Cengage Learning, Doaj, PKP, Latindex, Google Scholar, OpenAire, Miar, Diadorm, Dialnet, and EconLit.  For further details, please access: Internext - International Business and Management Review (espm.br)


The Submission Process

Manuscripts should be 6,000-8,000 words long, in English, and in line with the journal's standards, indicated on its website. Submission should be through Submissions | Internext - International Business and Management Review (espm.br). Please be sure to consult our Author Guidelines before submitting your manuscript and to tick this Special Issue box when submitting.

Opening date for manuscript submissions: 15 June 2024
Closing date for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024

Manuscripts will be reviewed in a double-blind process and following Internext’s standard procedures. For additional information, please contact one of the Guest Editors of the Special Issue:



Andonova, V., Casanova, L., Finchelstein, D., & García, J. (2023), The rise of digital entrepreneurship in Latin America. Internext: Revista Electrônica de Negócios Internacionais. 18(1): 104. 

Andonova, V., Nikolova, M., & Dimitrov, D. (2019), The Creation and Development of the Ecosystem: The Role of ICT in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Unexpected Places: Examining the Success Factors of Regional Entrepreneurship (Andonova, V., Nikolova, M., & Dimitrov, D., Eds.), p. 57-100.

Arenius, P., Sasi, V., & Gabrielsson, M. (2005). Rapid internationalization enabled by the internet: the case of a knowledge intensive company. JIE, 3(4), 279–290.

Banalieva, E.R., & Dhanaraj, C. (2019). Internalization theory for the digital economy. JIBS, 50, 1372–1387.

Bergamaschi, M., Bettinelli, C., Lissana, E., & Picone, P.M. (2021) Past, ongoing, and future debate on the interplay between internationalization and digitalization. Journal of Management and Governance, 25, 983–1032.

Brouthers, K. D., Geisser, K. D., & Rothlauf, F. (2016). Explaining the internationalization of ibusiness firms. Journal of International Business Studies47, 513-534.

Cahen, F., & Borini, F. M. (2020). International digital competence. Journal of International Management, 26(1): 100691.

Cavusgil, S.T., & Knight, G. (2015). The born global firm: An entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization. JIBS 46(1), 3-16.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2016). Multilatinas as sources of new research insights: The learning and escape drivers of international expansion. Journal of Business Research, Volume 69, Issue 6, pp.1963-1972. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.10.142.

Dagnino, G.B. & Resciniti, R. (2021). Introduction to the Special Issue: “The age of digital internationalization—Strategic capabilities, cultural distance and customer value”. Journal of Management and Governance, 25, 967–981.

Deng, Z., Zhu, Z., Johanson, M., & Hilmersson, M. (2022). Rapid internationalization and exit of exporters: The role of digital platforms. International Business Review31(1), 101896.

Fonseca, L. N. M., Kogut, C. S., & da Rocha, A. (2023). Anywhere in the World? The Internationalization of Small Entrepreneurial Ventures using a Social Media Platform. Management International Review, 1-24.

Hagsten, E., Kotnik, P. (2017). ICT as facilitator of internationalisation in small-and medium-sized firms. Small Business Economics, 48(2), 431-446.

Hennart, J. F. (2019). Digitalized service multinationals and international business theory. Journal of International Business Studies50, 1388-1400.

Jean, R. B., & Kim, D. (2020). Internet and SMEs' internationalization: The role of platform and website. JIM, 26(1), 100690.

Losada-Otálora, M. & Andonova, V. (2022). Escaping from institutional weakness by EM-MNEs: the role of firms’ resources vulnerability, European Business Review, 34(4): 492-520. 

Monaghan, S., Tippmann, E., & Coviello, N. (2020). Born digitals: Thoughts on their internationalization and a research agenda JIBS, 51, 11–22.

Nambisan, S. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 41(6), 1029-1055.

Nambisan, S., Zahra, S. A., & Luo, Y. (2019). Global platforms and ecosystems: Implications for international business theories. Journal of International Business Studies50, 1464-1486.

Ojala, A., Evers, N., & Rialp, A. (2018). Extending the international new venture phenomenon to digital platform providers: A longitudinal case study. Journal of World Business53(5), 725-739.

Song, D., & Wu, A. (2021). Pursuing International Opportunities in a Digitally Enabled World. In Digital Entrepreneurship (pp. 265-281). Springer, Cham.

Stallkamp, M., & Schotter, A. P. (2021). Platforms without borders? The international strategies of digital platform firms. Global Strategy Journal11(1), 58-80.

Stallkamp, M., Hunt, R. A., & Schotter, A. P. (2022). Scaling, fast and slow: The internationalization of digital ventures. Journal of Business Research146, 95-106.

UNCTAD (2022). World Investment Report 2022. Available at https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/wir2022_en.pdf

Verbeke, Alain, and Thomas Hutzschenreuter. "The dark side of digital globalization." Academy of Management Perspectives 35.4 (2021): 606-621.z

Verhoef, P. C., Broekhuizen, T., Bart, Y., Bhattacharya, A., Dong, J. Q., Fabian, N., & Haenlein, M. “Digital transformation: A multidisciplinary reflection and research agenda.” Journal of Business Research, 122 (2021): 889-901.



About the Guest Editors


Clarice Kogut, IAG/PUC-Rio, Brazil

Professor of Strategy and International Business at IAG Escola de Negocios / Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). PhD in Management, The Coppead Graduate School of Business, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Post-doctoral studies at IAG Business School, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.  MBA from Columbia University. Research interests include international business and strategy, with a special focus on emerging market firms, digitalization and entrepreneurship. Published work in important international journals such as Management International Review, Multinational Business Review, Competitiveness Review, European Sport Management Quarterly, International Journal Of Gender and Entrepreneurship, besides articles on conference proceedings and book chapters. She coordinates studies at NUPIN (IB research center at PUC-Rio) as well as the PEIEX-Rio program (export training and coaching of 250 SMES/every two years). Award-winner/nominee at AIB (Academy of International Business) and EIBA (European International Business Association) past editions. Associate editor of Internext - International Business and Management Review



Luiza Neves M. da Fonseca, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico

Professor of International Business at Tecnológico de Monterrey, in Mexico City, and a researcher at the Organizational Strategy Group at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, and at the Nupin Center of International Business Research at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She holds a PhD and a MSc in Business Administration from the IAG Business School at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She has published work in international and Brazilian journals, including Journal of Business Research, Management International Review, European Business Review and Journal of Contemporary Administration, besides many articles on conference proceedings and book chapters. Her research interests include firm internationalization and de-internatioalization, digital international entrepreneurship, and emerging markets.



Veneta Andonova, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Veneta Andonova is the former dean and Associate Professor of Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Universidad de los Andes School of Management, Colombia. She obtained her doctoral degree in management from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. Her research has been published in top-ranked international journals in economics and management with a focus on emerging and growing economies such as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Journal of Development Economics, and Journal of Development Studies. Her research on the topic of multilatinas and the Latin American business environment is collected in the edited volume Multilatinas: Strategies for Internationalization (2017) and is regularly updated at her Coursera MOOC, available in English and Spanish. Her book on the topic of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, and new business models is “Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Unexpected Places” (2019). She is a startup mentor and promoter of university-based entrepreneurship. She served at the AACSB Latin America and Caribbean Advisory Council and Association of MBA Latin America Council and is currently a board member at Global Business School Network Board, UNPRME and the Universitat Pompeu Fabra International Advisory Board, where she advocates in favor of much-needed acceptance and legitimacy of high-quality research from the Global South.


Fábio Paula, IAG/PUC-Rio, Brazil

Adjunct Professor of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). Young Scientist of Our State by FAPERJ (2020). PhD in Business Administration at PUC-Rio, in the research line of Strategy (2017). FAPERJ Doctorate-Sandwich scholarship from September 2016 to August 2017, having conducted academic research at Aalto University School of Business (Helsinki, Finland). Master in Business Administration at PUC-Rio (2006). Graduated in Computer Engineering at the same University (2001). Coordinates the Research Center on Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MAGIS) at IAG-PUC Rio. Conducts research and has articles published in national and international academic journals of high impact and in national and international conferences in Innovation Management, Strategy and Alliance Networks. Work experience as an executive in several industries, such as retail, foreign trade, marketing, education, information technology and oil and gas for 13 years.