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Internalization is a financial term referred to when transactions are handled within an entity or organization, instead of routing them out to third parties or the open market. In the stock market, for example, a brokerage might choose to internalize an order by matching it with orders from its own customers or fulfilling the order from its own inventory. This practice can reduce transaction costs but can also lead to conflicts of interest.


The phonetic pronunciation of the word “Internalization” is: in-tur-nuh-luh-zey-shuhn

Key Takeaways

  1. Process of Incorporation: Internalization is the psychological process where individuals absorb information, skills, behaviors, and attitudes from their environment and incorporate them into their personal beliefs and practices. It is a crucial element in many fields, such as psychology, sociology, education, and business.
  2. Impact on Behavior: It heavily influences the behavior and attitudes of an individual. When a person internalizes societal or cultural norms, these become a part of their own belief system, guiding their future actions and perspectives towards various situations.
  3. Role in Societal Functioning: Internalization is essential for societal functioning because it contributes to social order. It equips an individual with acceptable forms of behavior, values, and beliefs, which are necessary to function effectively and harmoniously within a community or a specific cultural context.


Internalization is a crucial concept in the world of business and finance as it allows companies to streamline their operations and exercise more control over their processes. By conducting tasks internally instead of relying on third parties, a business can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance communication within the organization. This strategy often leads to better integration and coordination of different departments. Furthermore, it enables the company to protect its proprietary information and intellectual property, which can provide a competitive edge. Hence, the significance of internalization lies in its potential to strengthen a company’s overall performance and strategic position.


Internalization is a strategy commonly used by businesses, with the primary intention to achieve more efficient and effective operations. It usually involves bringing previously outsourced functions or tasks in-house. By doing so, a business can gain direct control over its resources and processes, allowing for enhanced management and coordination. It enables a firm to reduce its dependency on external providers, mitigating risks associated with third-party relationships such as abrupt discontinuation of service or unexpected price hikes.The use of internalization in finance can be associated with global investments and transactions. For instance, multinational corporations use this strategy to utilize their own internal systems for foreign currencies exchange rather than relying on external financial markets. By doing so, they can essentially minimize the transaction costs associated with foreign exchange trading. Internalization can also apply to investment banks that fill a client’s order from the firm’s own inventory of securities instead of executing the trade through an exchange, with the intention of saving on exchange fees and making profit from the bid-ask spread. Thus, internalization can be a significant strategy for businesses to streamline their operations, cut costs, and improve their profitability and operational efficiency.


1. Vertical Integration: This is when a company internalizes processes by integrating both their supply and distribution networks. For instance, a car manufacturer may acquire a steel producing company to ensure a steady, cost-effective supply of materials. Likewise, it may acquire or open retail stores to sell its vehicles directly, thus controlling both its supply and distribution channels. The goal is to improve efficiency, lower costs and increase profitability.2. In-House Training: Some companies choose to internalize staff development and training. For instance, business consultancy firms may have their in-house training programs to ensure their consultants are well-versed in their unique methodologies and aligned with the company’s objectives. By doing so, they can tailor the training to their specific needs, maintain quality, and potentially save costs on outsourcing this service.3. Internalizing R&D: Many tech companies, like Apple or Google, internalize a large portion of their research and development (R&D). By having their own in-house R&D team, these companies can closely manage and control the development process of their products. This not only ensures the protection of intellectual property but also allows for quicker adaptations to market changes, maintaining competitive advantage.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Internalization mean in the business context?

Internalization in business refers to the practice of a company taking on tasks and activities itself instead of outsourcing or delegating them to other firms or subsidiaries. It can involve transactions, such as materials sourcing or manufacturing, being managed in-house.

Why might a company seek to internalize its operations?

Companies may seek to internalize operations to have greater control over their supply chain, to minimize costs, increase efficiency, to protect proprietary knowledge, ensure the quality of products and services, or to have more direct influence over outcomes.

What are some potential disadvantages of internalization?

Potential disadvantages include increased responsibility and risks, the need for more resources, potential inefficiencies compared to specialized contractors, and the potential stress on company resources, including management bandwidth and focus.

How does internalization relate to international business?

Internalization also refers to a business strategy where a firm takes full control of its international operations by owning a complete chain of production abroad, rather than relying on foreign intermediaries. This could assist in avoiding uncertainties in foreign markets.

What is an internalization strategy?

An internalization strategy is a plan to bring outsourced operations in-house or within the company’s boundaries. It may involve acquiring or developing new resources and capabilities or transforming existing ones.

Does internalization have any connection with the term Vertical Integration?

Yes, both terms are related. Vertical integration is a strategy where a company expands its business operations into different stages of production within the same industry, which can be a form of internalization.

Does internalization always result in cost-savings?

Not necessarily. While internalization can bring about cost savings in certain scenarios, such as when a company has a high level of spending on outsourcing costs, there could also be increased costs due to the need for additional personnel, equipment, facilities, or training.

How does internalization impact a firm’s competitive advantage?

Depending on the circumstances, internalization can potentially enhance a firm’s competitive advantage. By keeping functions in-house, a firm might gain better control over quality, delivery timelines and confidentiality which all can contribute to a stronger position in the market.

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