International entrepreneurship (IE) research draws on the notion that internationalization is an entrepreneurial behavior oriented to the discovery, enactment, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities across national borders to create value and get a competitive advantage. Based on the clear emphasis on opportunity-focused behaviors, IE research has made progress and extended its domain and boundaries to an extent that the mechanisms operating throughout the international opportunity process can be described. The present chapter aims to depict antecedents, mechanisms, and outcomes of this entrepreneurial behavior oriented to the pursuit of international opportunities and it offers directions for future research. As such, the chapter makes four contributions. First, it outlines antecedents at three levels (individual, firm, and environmental) as driving aspects that lead to the international opportunity-related behavior. Second, it reveals the mechanism by which different actors discover, enact, evaluate, and exploit international opportunities. Third, it describes the outcomes of this opportunities process. Fourth, it suggests establishing a conceptual basis around one previously proposed definition incorporating a notion of a social context that would enable IE scholarly community to set the objective criteria around opportunities and go beyond the legal entity of the focal firm and consider multiple actors, resources, processes, history, and context. Finally, the chapter offers some theoretical contributions by proposing directions for future research.
Part of the book: Entrepreneurship