Connected internationalisation processes: the case of internationalising channel intermediaries
Based on a network approach to internationalisation, the paper presents concepts for analysing companies' processes of internationalising in a moving context of other firms internationalising. The analytical problem and research question of the study is: How are firms internationalising in a continuously moving context of other, connected firms that are internationalising concurrently? The idea of connected and overlapping network processes is introduced as an analytical tool for approaching the problem. The concept spatial overlapping is applied to analyse geographical aspects of overlapping internationalisation processes. These processes are illustrated with an empirical study of the internationalisation processes of channel intermediaries. The empirical aim of the study is to complement earlier research into the internationalisation of manufacturing firms, service firms, retail chains, etc. with a study that puts channel intermediaries in focus. Connected internationalisation processes are illustrated with a case from the electronic component distribution industry. Two issues are brought up in the analysis of the case: various ways of handling concurrent and connected internationalisation processes, and of handling the resulting spatial overlapping processes, including the redefinition of market regions, regionalisation. In the final implications, the handling of network contradictions and tensions emerging from connected internationalisation processes are elaborated on in a model suggesting further research into this line of internationalisation research.
Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
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