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Network dynamics and resource outcomes throughout the internationalization process of SMEs

Brinkman, W.R. (2018) Network dynamics and resource outcomes throughout the internationalization process of SMEs.

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Abstract:There is increasing evidence of the facilitating role of external relationships and networks on the internationalization process of SMEs. Yet, a dearth of understanding continues to exist on how these networks develop over time. Another prevalent gap lies in the fact that relational characteristics are often neglected, which has resulted in a fragmented, inconclusive discussion on how relationships are built and which relationships (weak or strong) are most beneficial during internationalization. This current study tackles these research gaps by integrating process- and outcome-oriented aspects of networked internationalization. A qualitative analysis on the network strategies of decision makers from seven environmental technology firms, supplemented by one industrial firm, generated new insights on the dynamic aspects of networks, and its resource outcomes, throughout the internationalization process. Three key learning points can be derived from the analysis: 1) Most SMEs were able to enter foreign markets through strong business relationships, while serendipity also played a role for others; 2) During post-entry operations, networks were characterized by the strengthening of one central bridging tie into the market; 3) Some networks were more dynamic than others in which the dropping of ties, the weakening of ties, and making use of weak ties to attain new knowledge and opportunities were also observed. These findings result in several managerial implications, which are discussed before presenting some areas suitable for future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
FME, Zoetermeer, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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