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Article

How Do Innovation, Internationalization, and Organizational Learning Interact and Co-evolve in Small Firms? A Complex Systems Approach

Journal of Small Business Management. 2019. No. 00(00). P. 1-28.
Freixanet J., Rialp A., Churakova Iya.

This study examines using a complex systems approach, the reciprocal relationships between innovation, internationalization, and organizational learning in small businesses. After analyzing 54 companies and purposefully selecting 12 particularly information‐rich cases, we find that these three key activities are reciprocally linked to each other, forming a complex circular system. The firms’ evolution also shows that faced with various change elements, the system evolved toward adopting one of up to four patterns of interaction, characterized by low and high incremental and radical innovation, local and global internationalization, and adaptive and generative learning. The findings are relevant to scholars, managers, and policymakers.