11.1.1 Worked example: Born global firms

Let's assume you would like to know what has been written about the relatively new concept of "born global" firms in international business. Born global firms are firms who start operating internationally from their inception, rather than starting out as domestic firms first and only internationalize gradually.

To do so enter "born global" OR "born globals" in All of the words, check the Title words only box, and leave all subject area boxes checked. After removing duplicates, this search identifies some 150 papers, ten of which have been cited more than 100 times (see the screenshot below), with two articles having been cited more than 500 times. This shows us that, although this is a relatively new concept, it has attracted quite a lot of attention in the last two decades.

Although there are usually good reasons to limit your search by title words only, it is always sensible to do a quick search without the title words limitation. Especially in new fields, concepts are not yet firmly established and authors might not always mention them in the title. A search for born global without the title limitation produced a much longer list of highly cited works (see screenshot below).

Born global

Born global ranking

As can be established from the “rank” column, providing the original Google Scholar order which is ranked by search relevance, many of these works are not very relevant to the search query. For the first two hits (well-cited books) as well as the Global Marketing book, it is likely that the words born and global were mentioned somewhere in the book, but not in a way that was relevant to our interest in born global firms.

However, there are several other publications that do not have born global in their title, but do appear relevant to our search. They deal with international new ventures, early internationalizing firms and international entrepreneurship, all topics that could easily be related to born global firms. Hence it is can sometimes be worthwhile to broaden your search.