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Information Overload and the Process of Internationalization

Track: International Management

Keywords: Information overload; Information slack; Experiential learning; Adaptive learning; Internationalization Process model

This article presents a theoretical equation set based on the information interactions resulting in experiential learning. We attempt linking our equation set to the Uppsala Internationalization Process model in order to quantify information overload and operationalize the Uppsala model under longitudinal time series settings. The internationalization process generates an increase in the diversity as well as the overall quantity of information resulting in an increase of the variation and the amount of information a firm needs to process. This challenges a firm's capacity to simultaneously expand and learn. Market knowledge is acquired essentially through current business activities, all of which, proceeding from a firm’s market experience, generate experiential knowledge. Market experience is situation-specific being therefore difficult to generalize. Nonetheless, firms tend to use general “failsafe proven courses of action” when confronted with new situations in an effort to reduce diverging, larger quantities of incoming and often discrepant information. Information overload points towards situations where the quantity of information pending analysis and consideration compels the firm to revert to older and trusted information processing methods, clearly adopting a short-term efficiency posture leading to sub-optimal performance instead of seeking adaptive solutions.


Kedge Business School


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