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Firms' use of organizational, personal, and intermediary networks to gain access to resources for internationalization

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Abstract

This study explores which networks are beneficial for gaining resources for firms' internationalization. Little is known about firms' use of organizational, personal, and intermediary networks to gain access to resources for internationalization. Firms are seeking resources through their organization's relationships (organizational networks) and individuals' personal contacts (personal networks). Governmental and industry actors are implementing networks to promote international growth and act as an intermediary between business actors (intermediary networks). We conduct in‐depth interviews with firms and representatives for intermediary networks complemented with a survey. The findings reveal which resources are accessed through the different networks. We find organizational networks provide considerable access to most resources (except financial resources) that are beneficial for internationalization, whereas intermediary networks provide access to reputational, human, and market resources. Personal networks primarily provide access to human resources. This study contributes to theory by giving a more fine‐grained understanding of how different types of networks give access to different resources valuable for internationalization.

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... Institutional networks (Oparaocha, 2015) or intermediary networks (Andersson & Sundermeier, 2019) can act as a liaison between firms and authorities and other power players to navigate bureaucratic structures, both as resource and legitimacy providers in the host market (Andersson & Sundermeier, 2019;Bembom & Schwens, 2018). Recent IB research clarifies the characteristics, utilization, effectiveness, and benefits of using institutional networks' services (Brache & Felzensztein, 2019;Costa et al., 2017;Oparaocha, 2015). ...
... Institutional networks (Oparaocha, 2015) or intermediary networks (Andersson & Sundermeier, 2019) can act as a liaison between firms and authorities and other power players to navigate bureaucratic structures, both as resource and legitimacy providers in the host market (Andersson & Sundermeier, 2019;Bembom & Schwens, 2018). Recent IB research clarifies the characteristics, utilization, effectiveness, and benefits of using institutional networks' services (Brache & Felzensztein, 2019;Costa et al., 2017;Oparaocha, 2015). ...
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It has long been debated whether integration speed positively or negatively contributes to acquisition performance. Drawing on the resource-based view, this study addresses this controversy in the literature by investigating how integration speed for specific categories of strategic resources affects the integration process by capturing the expected value of an acquisition. With six in-depth case studies, it concludes that the relationship between integration speed and acquisition performance cannot be understood quantitatively; instead, the focus should be on the interaction between integration speed and three broad groups of strategic resources (managerial, customer-oriented, and supplier-oriented) post acquisition. The study further finds that the understanding of integration speed should not be from a stand-alone viewpoint but rather from a dynamic perspective—a viewpoint combined with time of integration. The findings of this study also complement the existing understanding of integration by extending the knowledge of task integration and its interaction with human integration. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Conference Paper
This paper focuses on dynamic capabilities and, more generally, the resource-based view of the firm. We argue that dynamic capabilities are a set of specific and identifiable processes such as product development, strategic decision making, and alliancing. They are neither vague nor tautological. Although dynamic capabilities are idiosyncratic in their details and path dependent in their emergence, they have significant commonalities across firms (popularly termed 'best practice'). This suggests that they are more homogeneous, fungible, equifinal and substitutable than is usually assumed. In moderately dynamic markets, dynamic capabilities resemble the traditional conception of routines. They are detailed, analytic stable processes with predictable outcomes. In contrast, in high-velocity markets, they are simple, highly experiential and fragile processes with unpredictable outcomes. Finally, well-known learning mechanisms guide the evolution of dynamic capabilities. In moderately dynamic markets, the evolutionary emphasis is on variation. In high-velocity markets, it is on selection. At the level of REV, we conclude that traditional REV misidentifies the locus of long-term competitive advantage in dynamic markers, overemphasizes the strategic logic of leverage, and reaches a boundary condition in high-velocity markets. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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For years, people in business bragged about the size of their rolodexes, which contained the names and vital information about people who could provide business-related information and share business contacts-the crucial data needed to make good decisions, avoid pitfalls, handle new challenges, and decrease 6 degrees of separation to 2. The computer has replaced the rolodex, but the need to have a group of people who can help in different circumstances is larger than ever.
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This study extends existing work in the area of interorganizational relationships by exploring the interaction between the strategic posture of small firms and their propensity to form cooperative linkages. The most critical finding is that most small firms do use cooperative strategies, and that these strategies are used differentially by different strategic types. However, it is unclear whether there is a direct relationship between the competitive postures, interorganizational strategies, and small firm performance.
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Understanding sources of sustained competitive advantage has become a major area of research in strategic management. Building on the assumptions that strategic resources are heterogeneously distributed across firms and that these differences are stable over time, this article examines the link between firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Four empirical indicators of the potential of firm resources to generate sustained competitive advantage-value, rareness, imitability, and substitutability are discussed. The model is applied by analyzing the potential of several firm resources for generating sustained competitive advantages. The article concludes by examining implications of this firm resource model of sustained competitive advantage for other business disciplines.
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This article aims to contribute toward a better understanding of the opportunity development process that rapidly internationalizing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) undergo. Little is known about how SMEs overcome challenges in the process of recognizing and exploiting market opportunities during their rapid expansion abroad. This article presents a longitudinal case study that illustrates how a firm's relationships with business, social, and political actors enhance its opportunity development during the internationalization process. The findings highlight that conducting matching activities at different levels helps the firm overcome challenges and succeed in developing new opportunities for continued expansion abroad. This study contributes to research on rapidly internationalizing firms by broadening the empirical and theoretical understanding of the opportunity development process for smaller firms.
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This study investigates the influence of business owner experience (management/start-up) and professional networking on start-up export intensity. In addition, we assume networking to mediate the experience – export intensity relationship. Flemish start-ups form this study's empirical setting. Our results indicate that start-up export intensity is directly driven by professional networking. Management experience is a positive antecedent of networking while start-up experience is negatively related to professional networking. All in all, management and start-up experience connect only indirectly to export intensity, fully mediated by networking. Implications and opportunities for future research are suggested.
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We employed knowledge-based theory to shed light on international growth in entrepreneurial firms. We found earlier initiation of internationalization and greater knowledge intensity to be associated with faster international growth. However, contrary to expectations, firms with more imitable technologies also grew faster. The former results suggest that early pursuit of international opportunity induces greater entrepreneurial behavior and confers a growth advantage, whereas the latter call into question current views of the role of imitability in international growth.
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There are two dominant views in international business research: the economic and the process view. In this study it is shown that these views give us some insight into the complex phenomenon of the internationalization of the firm. However, our understanding of various international behaviors in the firm’s first international ventures as well as of radical strategic changes is enhanced by an analysis focusing on entrepreneurs. Such a conceptual framework is used to analyze this study’s cases. New concepts are developed: the marketing entrepreneur who implements an international push strategy; the technical entrepreneur who implements a strategy focusing on technical development, creating an international pull strategy; and the structure entrepreneur who implements an international restructuring of an industry.
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This article combines arguments from entrepreneurship literature and social capital theory to examine the antecedents to the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from China. Our quantitative study of 117 Chinese SMEs demonstrates the overall importance of entrepreneurial orientation and social capital of entrepreneurs in facilitating their internationalization efforts, and also reveals that different dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation and different types of social capital exert different levels of independent influence on Chinese SMEs' internationalization. Complementary data from multiple case studies explains the variation between our quantitative findings and the findings of previous research. By highlighting the value of the entrepreneurial attributes of Chinese SMEs and the social capital embedded in their networks in the pursuit of their internationalization, the article adds to the scant literature on the internationalization behavior of the rapidly emerging Chinese SMEs. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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In a study of 1304 Australian manufacturing industry SMEs, we investigate the relationships among networking (i.e., inter-personal and inter-organisational networks), international market venturing (i.e., export intensity), and family ownership. We find evidence that (1) inter-personal networking and inter-organisational networking positively influence SME international market venturing, but this relationship is contingent on a time lag effect, and (2) family ownership negatively moderates the effect of inter-organisational networking on international market venturing. Implications for managerial practice and public policy are discussed.
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Highlights ► We study the impact of export promotion programs moderated by level of export involvement. ► Number of programs known and used increases with the export involvement of firms. ► There is a positive relationship between EPPs use and diversification and intermediate outcomes. ► Companies in the initial exporting stages benefit the most from EPPs use.
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Building upon the resource-based view of the firm and the managerial rents model, we explore role played by two forms of management capability (‘general’ and ‘HR specific’) in the use of high performance work organization (HPWO) practices and their impact on performance.A nationally representative establishment-level survey of organizational practices conducted in 1999 and 2002 in a single industry found that both forms of management capability were associated with the use of HPWO practices in 1999 but this association did not hold for the use of HPWO practices in 2002. There was a strong and positive relationship between the use of HPWO practices in 1999 and subsequent value-added per employee in 2002. HR-specific management capability did not moderate the relationship between HPWO practices in 1999 and value-added per employee in 2002. Contrary to expectations we found high levels of value-added per employee where the use of HPWO practices was high but our measure of general management resources was low.
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Internationalization process research emphasizes accumulated experience and networks as sources of knowledge for internationalization. Our understanding, however, as to what this knowledge is in practice for smaller firms, the challenges they face in acquiring it, and how they address those challenges is limited. Integrating organizational learning concepts with our theoretical understanding of the small firm internationalization process, we develop a new framework for understanding knowledge acquisition processes, which are examined with a case study of 10 Scottish internationalizing firms. We find smaller firms may not have relevant experience or useful networks, and rely on sources rarely recognised before. Firms used recruitment, government advisors and consultants to acquire indirect experience. Recruitment is a source of market and technological knowledge and government advisors and consultants a source of internationalization knowledge. Accessing internal information is important for firms that have internationalized. Our integrated theoretical framework identifies knowledge content and sources that are critical for internationalization, but that may be absent.
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Article
MARIA HOL M LUND AND DR. SOREN Ko(IK ar-e botlh with the Department of Mai-keting and Corporate GCeography at the Swedish School of Economnics and BlTsiness Administration in Finland. Ijitet-iiationalisation activities cir-eate mllalnv oppo)rtiinities f'or SMEs but they also entail a i ange of difficulties. In this study the presenit business network is in f'ocuLs for tiniderstanding and describing tlhe iiiei niationialisation process of SMEs. The theoiretical framework is based on- the netxx ork approach as well as on earlieico(01 esponiding studies. Empirical findlings fr om a inail sur-vey conducted show that the initial export markets are those sittuated in couniitries nearby but that these acilso ten-d to remain important expoI-t m-iarkets. The firms were also sLubstantially affected by internationial comlpetition as they exported niot onlxl dlirectlvT bhut also acted as suppliers to buyeis operating on the global market. Agenits or own salesmen were the mn-iost imiiportauit entry modes on the initerl-national market. High quality pr)o(dlcts, a flexible organisation anid coml1petent personnel were mentioned s impolitant competitive tools. The impol-tanice of the social network was stressed as was the management, as well as per-sonal contacts and interests. Cooper ative arrangements with other domestic firms were also regarded as ways of' strengthening international colmpetitiveness and receiving infoir-nation.
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Multimarket research studies the causes and consequences of firms meeting each other in multiple markets, and has found evidence that multimarket contact reduces competitive pressures. Recent work has examined whether multimarket contacts are sought strategically or entered coincidentally, with some papers finding a large role of coincidental entry. The finding is puzzling given the well-documented benefits of multimarket contact. This article takes advantage of advances in multimarket theory and measurement to analyze market entries, and finds that strategic entry is seen when the intent and extent of multimarket contacts are considered, but also that managers appear to be risk-averse when establishing multimarket contacts.
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The use of network approaches to gain an understanding of business behaviour in general, and entrepreneurial action in particular, has increased. Research into entrepreneurial networking, however, varies considerably depending upon paradigmatic assumptions. In deterministic contexts networks mainly represent restrictions while in voluntaristic settings the network is the very instrument by which new ventures are realized. A subjectivist approach thus seems to be most able to exploit the potentials of the network metaphor in entrepreneurship research since venturing means organizing through personal networking. Yet both quantitative and qualitative tools may be adopted when mapping and interpreting the characteristics of entrepreneurial networks.