Exploring Drivers and Barriers, Failure and Resilience, Success Factors and Strategies in Firms’ Internationalisation: Literature Review and Research Agenda


  • Anderson Galvão Centre for Transdisciplinary Development Studies (CETRAD) and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal; School of Technology and Management (ESTG), Polytechnic Institute of Porto (P. Porto), Porto, Portugal
  • Telma Mendes Centre for Research and Innovation in Business Sciences and Information Systems (CIICESI), ESTG, P. Porto, Porto, Portugal; University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.
  • Carla Mascarenhas CETRAD and Polytechnic Institute of Porto (P. Porto), Porto, Portugal
  • Carla Marques CETRAD and UTAD, Vila Real, Portugal




internationalisation, business, systematic review, bibliometric analysis, bibliographical coupling


The literature that studies firms’ internationalisation has become very extensive and fragmented, taking different approaches and contributing across diverse facets of internationalisation. Therefore, there is a need to analyse and systematise those issues that received increasing attention in the international business field. Accordingly, this study aims to develop a systematic literature review on the internalisation process. We correspondingly make resources to the Web of Science database and analyse a total of 270 articles, spanning the period from 1996 to 2022, to identify the core issues and contributions made by the existing literature. The results enable the categorisation of the extant research into five main areas: (i) successful internationalisation, (ii) internationalisation strategies, (iii) failure and resilience, (iv) drivers and stimuli, and (v) barriers and obstacles. This structuring then established the grounds for grasping the gaps existing in the literature and to propose future research agenda.