This study reviewed internationalisation theory using an innovation lens. It looked at internationalisation approaches such as: stages, learning, born-global, network, and contingency and compared innovation theory to these approaches to demonstrate that all export initiation is innovative, not just the stages approach. Research questions were tested using a typology of internationalisation approaches, a sample of five SME manufacturers were selected. Qualitative depth interviews were conducted to see if innovation activities were undertaken by these SMEs as part of their early internationalisation. It was found that in every different approach to internationalisation, innovation appears to exist with new to export SMEs.
Proceedings of Regional Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: 8th International Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Research Exchange, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia, 01-04 February 2011,