The role of storytelling in international new ventures
This paper considers the legitimacy-creating efforts of Better Place, an international new venture (INV) providing infrastructure services linking electrical vehicles and power grid networks. We analyze the debate on Better Place’s attempts to communicate its business idea to constituents in Denmark, Israel, Canada, and Australia using expert interviews as well as content analysis of newspaper articles and other secondary sources. Storytelling, which is found to be central to the legitimacy-creating efforts of international business ventures, interacts with existing discourses in the diverse contexts in which it occurs. Furthermore, our study demonstrates how constituents pick up specific elements as they become attuned to conversations concerning transportation energy use and sustainability. We believe that this study contributes conceptually, methodologically, empirically, and theoretically to the growing literature on INVs and on institutions in international business. For practice, our aim is to improve managers’ awareness and understanding of the importance of storytelling in the market contexts they seek to enter.
Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2014, Vol 12, Issue 4, p. 365-388