The Keys to Internalization of the Spanish Enterprise: A Dynamic and Conceptual Analysis

Supported by: Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia. Dirección General de Investigación. Plan Nacional de I+D+i Proyecto SEJ2006- 15151
From: 2006-10-01 To: 2009-09-30
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Leading Researcher

Puig, Nuria  

IBC Network members

Castro, Rafael


This project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the internationalization process of firms with the tools and long-term perspective of business history. It does so by identifying and explaining the historical determinants of the internationalization of Spanish firms from the late 19th century to the present. Its main hypothesis is that the recent and spectacular internationalization of Spanish business is the result of a previous and complex learning process, parallel to the diffusion of the second and third industrial revolutions and strongly influenced by foreign direct investment and national business cultures. To be carried out from 2007 through 2009, the Kise-project draws from previous research on the role of national and international business networks in 20th century Spain that resulted in the creation of a large database of companies and entrepreneurs, as well as in the reconstruction of patterns of inward foreign direct investment patterns in Spain from the 1880s onwards. Five broad tasks define the individual and collective efforts of the Kise-project: 1) Reconstructing the formation process of the 200 largest Spanish multinationals; 2) Analyzing the connections between these firms and their supporting business groups and networks at regional, national and international level; 3) Identifying and explaining the main internationalization strategies of the 200 largest firms during the 20th century; 4) Assessing the role played by family firms and groups in the Spanish process of internationalization; and 5) Elaborating a dynamic typology that allow us to draw international comparisons as well as to challenge international business theories on a solid empirical ground. Last but not least, the Kise-project wants to encourage the study of the internationalization of Spanish business at firm and industry level by scholars outside our group through the organization of workshops and the edition of special issues.