Definitions and literature review
he relatively unexplored research topic of internationalization processes at the subsidiary level initially suggested a rather inductive study approach, which would not or only to a limited degree require a thorough examination of literature in relevant research streams. Eisenhardt (1989b: 536) supported this point by postulating that “theory-building research is begun as close as possible to the ideal of no theory under consideration and no hypothesis to test”. Gummensson (2000), however, confronted this statement by questioning the need for continuously reinventing the wheel in the course of new studies and actually urged scholars to make use of existing theory also for qualitative research undertakings. A pragmatic middle ground had already been set by Perry (1998: 789), who established ties between the two perspectives by noting that “pure induction might prevent researchers from benefiting from existing theory, just as pure deduction might prevent the development of new and useful theory”.