The dynamics of experiential learning: microprocesses and adaptation in a professional service INV

Thorsten Bunz, Lucrezia Casulli, Marian V Jones, Andreas Bausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
61 Downloads (Pure)


In international new ventures (INVs), experiential learning happens in quick succession and across a wide number of diverse contexts. Yet, we lack an empirical understanding of the microprocesses through which INVs learn and adapt in their foreign expansion. Understanding those microprocesses is important because timely adaptation can save the venture time and resources, thus promoting sustainable growth. In this study, we investigate the dynamics of experiential learning and adaptation in the internationalisation process of an INV in the professional service sector. Findings from our study illustrate that the firm applies deliberate experiential learning by developing, revising, and finalising criteria for important dimensions in the international growth process, and adapts its internationalisation practices accordingly. We further show that deliberate experiential learning is predicated on an actively and closely monitored learning process, involving critical evaluation, adjustment of criteria, and acceptance of affordable mistakes, as opposed to learning by default.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225–238
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number2
Early online date12 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • international new venture
  • experiential learning
  • internationalization process
  • professional service firm
  • human capital
  • dynamic capabilities


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