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Internationalization of knowledge-intensive SMEs: The role of network relationships in the entry to a psychically distant market

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  • Ojala, Arto
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    Abstract

    Current research emphasizes the role of extant network relationships in the international development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Inevitably, these relationships are there, most likely, to provide linkages with and facilitate entry into psychically and geographically close markets. But what of firms entering psychically distant markets, for strategic reasons, as is usually the case with knowledge-intensive SMEs? Will existing network relationships remain important, and will they operate in a similar way. In this exploratory case study, in which eight Finnish software SMEs enter the Japanese market, the decision to enter these markets is found to be for strategic reasons rather than in order to follow network relationships. In addition, the way to enter these markets is not seen influenced by extant business relationships. It seems more reasonable to argue that the important relationships were actively utilized or developed to achieve the market entry, and were, in many cases, mediated relationships with non-profit government-owned consulting firms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 50-59

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:50-59

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    Related research

    Keywords: Case study Finland Internationalization Japan Knowledge-intensive firms Market entry Networks Psychic distance Software firms;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Gabrielsson, Mika & Kirpalani, V.H. Manek & Dimitratos, Pavlos & Solberg, Carl Arthur & Zucchella, Antonella, 2008. "Born globals: Propositions to help advance the theory," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 385-401, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Roger Schweizer, 2013. "SMEs and networks: Overcoming the liability of outsidership," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 80-103, March.
    2. Hohenthal, Jukka & Johanson, Jan & Johanson, Martin, 2014. "Network knowledge and business-relationship value in the foreign market," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 4-19.
    3. Ciravegna, Luciano & Lopez, Luis & Kundu, Sumit, 2014. "Country of origin and network effects on internationalization: A comparative study of SMEs from an emerging and developed economy," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(5), pages 916-923.
    4. Sigfusson, Thor & Harris, Simon, 2013. "Domestic market context and international entrepreneurs’ relationship portfolios," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 243-258.
    5. Rodrigues, S.B., 2010. "Towards a New Agenda for the Study of Business Internationalization: Integrating Markets, Institutions and Politics," ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management EIA-2010-043-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    6. Zizah Che Senik & Brenda Scott-Ladd & Lanny Entrekin & Khairul Adham, 2011. "Networking and internationalization of SMEs in emerging economies," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 259-281, December.
    7. Luuk Rietveldt & Robert Goedegebuure, 2014. "The influence of network relationships on the internationalization process of SMEs: A multiple case-study of Ethiopian SMEs," Working Papers 2014/08, Maastricht School of Management.
    8. Ciravegna, Luciano & Majano, Sara B. & Zhan, Ge, 2014. "The inception of internationalization of small and medium enterprises: The role of activeness and networks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 1081-1089.
    9. Sandberg, Susanne, 2014. "Experiential knowledge antecedents of the SME network node configuration in emerging market business networks," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 20-29.
    10. Kontinen, Tanja & Ojala, Arto, 2010. "The internationalization of family businesses: A review of extant research," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-107, June.
    11. Kontinen, Tanja & Ojala, Arto, 2011. "Network ties in the international opportunity recognition of family SMEs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 440-453, August.
    12. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    13. Mathieu Cabrol & Véronique Favre-Bonté, 2011. "L'entrepreneur comme clef de voûte dans l'internationalisation rapide de son entreprise," Post-Print hal-00950491, HAL.
    14. Sigfusson, Thor & Chetty, Sylvie, 2013. "Building international entrepreneurial virtual networks in cyberspace," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 260-270.

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