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Hörndlein, Christian (2013): When is it Better to Have No Role Models? Evidence from the Internationalization of Companies in the German Software Industry. 34st International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013, Milano, Italy, December 15-18, 2013. In: ECIS 2013 Proceedings,

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The internationalization of a company is a complex endeavor. However, because of the special characteristics of the software industry, the internationalization of a software company can be particularly critical to its success. This study is among the first to employ institutional theory to analyze a software company’s degree of internationalization. An analysis based on the survey of 306 German software companies shows that both managers’ perception of the domestic market as a “comfort zone” and debt investors’ pressures have a significant impact on the companies’ internationalization behavior. Besides, when they perceive the domestic market as unattractive, software companies that have other German IT companies as a role model internationalize to a lesser degree than companies without German role models. The study’s findings therefore point to successful strategies for policy-makers and managers alike that aspire to foster the internationalization of software companies.

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