International activities of knowledge-intensive small- and medium-sized enterprises: The example of an open source software firm
Pykäläinen, T., & Ojala, A. (2009). International activities of knowledge-intensive small- and medium-sized enterprises: The example of an open source software firm. Management Research News, 32 (7), 645-658. doi:10.1108/01409170910965242
Julkaistu sarjassaManagement Research News
© Emerald. This is an electronic final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Management Research News by Emerald.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework that explains international activities of open source software (OSS) firms. Design/methodology/approach: This paper reviews relevant literature related to international operations of knowledge-intensive firms, especially in the software industry. Theoretical development is based here on a combination of the network approach, international new venture theory and inward–outward internationalization. Findings: The findings in this study suggest that the international activities of OSS firms can be divided into project activities and business activities. Project activities include inward and outward linkages, and partner identification. Business activities include domestic and partner network activities that can lead to international business as well. Research implications: For scholars, the framework provides a new approach to explain many international activities of OSS firms by integrating three international business theories. In addition, it provides good starting point for further empirical examination. Practical implications: The framework helps managers gain a better understanding of complex circumstances embedded into the international activities of OSS firms. With that better understanding, the managers can focus their activities, which helps further to improve their firms' competitiveness engendered by the international activities in the OSS development. Originality/value: The framework developed in this study is believed to be the first serious attempt to provide a deeper theoretical understanding of international activities of OSS firms.