An attribution theory approach for understanding the internationalization of professional service firms Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose The aim is to gain an increased understanding of the factors motivating managers toward internationalizing their firms. Design/methodology/approach Attribution theory is employed in this study. Building upon the internationalization literature, an attribution model of internationalization is developed. A model of the influence of causal factors (i.e. uniqueness of offering, financial resources and competitive pricing) on a cognitive psychological consequence (i.e. expectations of success) and resulting behavioral consequence (i.e. international success) is examined in a sample of 152 managers of US-based professional service firms through structural equation modeling. Findings The results, supporting the proposed model, suggest that attribution theory can provide a new lens through which greater insights into managerial mindsets driving the internationalization process can be gained. Originality/value This study provides new theoretical insights for international marketing academics as well as practical advice for those involved in the practice of international marketing. © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

published proceedings

  • International Marketing Review

author list (cited authors)

  • Cort, K. T., Griffith, D. A., & Steven White, D.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Cort, Kathryn T||Griffith, David A||Steven White, D

publication date

  • February 2007