International Retailing as Embedded Business Models

Steve Burt, Ulf Johansson, John Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As retailers internationalise they interact with diverse socio-political-economic environments and the activities, processes, behaviours and outputs underpinning their business models evolve over time and space. Retailers are not passive, and through managerial agency they interpret the environment to compete and further their own commercial aims. Consequently, mutual interaction with the host environment means that changes may also occur in the established institutional norms in a market. Most existing studies have focused on the implications of territorial embeddedness for internationalising retailers. In this paper we also consider the societal and network forms of embeddedness identified by Hess, and illustrate how retailers transfer, negotiate and adapt their business model as they embed themselves in different institutional environments. A case study of IKEA is used to illustrate the synthesis of these two frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Economic Geography
Early online date24 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Embeddedness
  • business model
  • international retailing
  • IKEA


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