Purpose: Using behavioral theory of the firm, the purpose of this paper is to examine how a small firm’s performance relative to historical and social aspirations is related to its international entrepreneurial orientation (IEO). This study also explores two environmental factors, liability of foreignness (LoF) and host-country market potential (HMP), as the moderators for the relationship of performance and IEO. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses survey for data collection from Canadian small firms and employs regression models for data analysis. Findings: The results show that small firms demonstrate stronger IEO when their performance is below aspirations, but their IEO diminishes when their performance exceeds aspirations. The authors also found that a small firm’s LoF does not moderate the impact of its performance feedback on IEO. However, the authors found HMP plays a moderating role when a small firm’s performance is below aspirations. Originality/value: This study investigates the relationship of IEO to aspiration and found that this relationship is moderated by HMP. The study advances our knowledge on small firms’ international behavior.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Aspiration, Host-country market potential, International entrepreneurial orientation, Liability of foreignness
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/IMR-03-2017-0062
Journal International Marketing Review
Li, L. (Lee), Qian, G. (Gongming), Qian, Z. (Zhengming), & Lu, I. (2018). Aspiration, foreignness liability and market potential: How do they relate to small firms’ international entrepreneurial orientation?. International Marketing Review. doi:10.1108/IMR-03-2017-0062