Business models and internationalization decisions
: the case of Galp

  • Celina Cinja Pfeiffer (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Educators must modernize their teaching continuously to educate future global leaders and to keep the teaching of international business relevant, engaging and innovative. Recent years have seen a shift away from lecturer-centered pedagogy and towards active learning and the use of cases. The goal of this thesis is to keep the latter approach up to date by designing a teaching case that reflects a novel international business theory. Gaps in previous teaching cases were identified. An example company was selected in accordance with various criteria. Semi-structured interviews and primary data were then used to make the case richer. These steps revealed that the role of business models and internationalization is poorly covered in interna-tional business cases. The theory from Bohnsack, Ciulli and Kolk's (2020) article “The role of business models in firm internationalization: an exploration of European electricity firms in the context of the energy transition” was identified as a relevant basis for a teaching case. Through the example of Galp Energia, the case teaches students how to build on the analysis of the location boundedness of business models and recombination barriers to develop action plans for internationalization. More specifically, the students are taught to assess feasibility, to select business model components for modification (where necessary) and to anticipate barriers to internationalization.
Date of Award30 Jun 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRené Bohnsack (Supervisor)


  • Internationalization
  • Business model specific advantages
  • Location-bound/non-location-bound
  • Business model
  • Recombination barriers
  • International business teaching


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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