Accidental tourists? A cognitive exploration of serendipitous internationalisation




Kiss, Andreea N.
Danis, Wade M.
Nair, Sudhir
Suddaby, Roy

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International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship


A substantial body of work views initial foreign market entries (FMEs) as intentional and deliberately planned by proactive decision-makers. However, research suggests that FMEs may also occur serendipitously. We take an international opportunity recognition (IOR) perspective and focus on the cognitive underpinnings of serendipitous internationalisation processes associated with six ventures. We highlight differences in the causal logics of decision-makers and cognitive attributes that, in the process of updating causal logics, create oscillations between serendipitous and subsequent planned FMEs. We also explain when and why an effectuation logic is more likely to be employed. We extend research on IOR by elaborating a dynamic interaction between planned and unplanned cognition that provides new insights into how cognitive processes facilitate opportunity recognition.



cognitive perspective, emerging economies, international entrepreneurship, international opportunity recognition, serendipity


Kiss, A. N., Danis, W. M., Nair, S., and Suddaby, R. (2019). Accidental tourists? A cognitive exploration of serendipitous internationalization. International Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship, 38(2), 65-89.