University of Oulu

Leppäaho, T., Mainela, T. & Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E. Opportunity beliefs in internationalization: A microhistorical approach. J Int Bus Stud 54, 1298–1312 (2023).

Opportunity beliefs in internationalization : a microhistorical approach

Saved in:
Author: Leppäaho, Tanja1; Mainela, Tuija2; Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, Eriikka3
Organizations: 1LUT Business School, LUT University, P.O. Box 20, 53851, Lappeenranta, Finland
2Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4600, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3School of Economics, University of Turku, 20014, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-02-06


We propose the concept of opportunity belief as a means of understanding individuals as the interpreters of their contexts over the internationalization process of a firm. To illustrate the concept, we conducted a microhistorical analysis on one of the largest forest industry MNEs with an internationalization history of more than 150 years. Historical archival data and rich secondary material provided access to the reasonings of individuals over the firm’s internationalization. This allowed depiction of different types of opportunity beliefs as the drivers of internationalization actions within particular historical contexts. We portray opportunity belief as a complementary lens to current internationalization models focusing primarily on firm-level development.

see all

Series: Journal of international business studies
ISSN: 0047-2506
ISSN-E: 1478-6990
ISSN-L: 0047-2506
Volume: 54
Issue: 7
Pages: 1298 - 1312
DOI: 10.1057/s41267-023-00599-x
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: Open Access funding provided by LUT University (previously Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT)).
Copyright information: © 2023 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit