Document Type

Conference Paper


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


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Presented on 31 March 2012 at the Academy of International Business, UK and Ireland Chapter, Liverpool.


Departing from traditional economic and behavioural approaches, 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 PSF competencies and the firm’s approach to internationalisation. We reveal how these PSFs can be classified along a continuum ranging from artistic to engineering orientation depending on the firm’s relative emphasis on technical or management competencies when internationalising. Implications for PSFs when developing an approach to internationalisation are discussed.