Country Familiarity in Entrepreneurs’ Foreign Market Selection



Given that the foreign market selection process is cognitively demanding, entrepreneurs likely use cognitive shortcuts to help evaluate which countries to enter. Through verbal protocol analyses of early-stage foreign market selection (i.e., narrowing country consideration sets), we demonstrate that entrepreneurs use country familiarity in their decision-making, resulting in initial increases and then decreases in cognitive effort. We also find an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relationship between country familiarity and the country assessment. These findings contribute to the emergent literature on the critical role of entrepreneurs’ cognition in internationalization decision-making.