Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Short form of paper submitted in January 2012 with revised Full Paper version to be submitted by June 2012. Accepted for presentation at EGOS 2012, Helsinki.


Using a behavioral process approach within the field of international business theory, this study adopts a resource based lens to examine an area exhibiting exceptional growth, the internationalisation of professional service firms (PSFs). An in-depth qualitative study of the internationalisation process of five architectural firms expanding to multiple international markets was conducted. The paper’s main contribution is the identification of the interplay between the learning process and resource commitments for internationalisation. We reveal how these PSFs can be classified along a continuum whereby they adopt either a project learning or a market learning approach which drives the development and acquisition of either reputational capital or relational capital. Implications for PSFs when developing an approach to internationalisation are discussed.