The development and performance of international new ventures : links between networks, entrepreneurial orientation, and firm performance

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Volume Title
School of Business | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2013-12-05
Date
2013
Major/Subject
Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta
International Business
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
203 s.
Series
Aalto University publication series. DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS, 183/2013
Abstract
International New Ventures (INVs) are firms that from inception view the world as their marketplace. They are an extreme case of rapidly internationalizing companies that from inception seek resources, sell products, and pursue competitive advantages in multiple countries. The firms are characterized by significant resource shortages for which they rely on their networks. Despite a growing amount of INV literature, many important research areas about INVs and their networks have been overlooked. This doctoral thesis is an investigation into three such areas. The first is a study of how INV networks change with resource accumulation and firm development. The second is an inquiry about services INVs, their EO, and their performance. The third concentrates on how INVs attract network partners and strategic network resources, and how this impacts firm performance. The articles making up this dissertation collectively study links between INV resources, network development, Entrepreneurial Orientation (EO), and firm performance. The principal argument of this thesis is as follows. The development and performance of INVs are inextricably linked to their networks. The firms go to their networks to gain varying levels of resources and support that ranges from simple resource shortage alleviation to the development of strategic advantages. The accumulation and development of resources prompts changes to INV networks and influence the firm's growth, attractiveness, and performance. INVs have a strong EO that influences their network management and is affected by the intangibility of their offerings. The best performing INVs are those who have a strong EO, actively manage networks to satisfy their evolving needs, acquire strategic network resources, surround themselves with the most prominent business partners, and develop strong network attractiveness. On these bases, each of the four articles in this thesis makes a contribution to the preceding argument. This dissertation is among the first to empirically show that network attractiveness mediates the impact of strategic network resources on INV performance. It also shows that INV network resources become increasingly strategic with firm growth and that such growth influences INV attractiveness. The thesis empirically builds on a handful of studies that extend the Resource Based View (RBV) to network resources in order to evaluate their "strategicness" and impact on performance. Separately, it provides novel findings that the intangibility of an INV's services influences EO, and that a strong EO drives INVs to manage networks in a calculative manner. It informs INV entrepreneurs not only to rely on their networks for resource shortages alleviation but also to secure increasingly strategic resources and build network attractiveness.
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Supervising professor
Salmi, Asta, professor
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