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The effect of experience and absorptive capacity on foreign market knowledge

  • Eriksson, Kent
  • Chetty, Sylvie
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    Learning about foreign markets often occurs through collaboration with other firms who have this knowledge. In this paper, we focus on one aspect of foreign market knowledge, which is the knowledge a partner in a dyadic relationship, has of the other partner and of their respective business network relationships. The concept 'absorptive capacity' [Admin. Sci. Q. 35 (1990) 128] is used to describe the firm's ability to use its prior related knowledge and diverse background to identify the value of new information and to develop this into something creative. We develop and empirically test a model of how depth and diversity of experience affect absorptive capacity, and how this absorptive capacity affects the way a lack of foreign market knowledge is perceived as an obstacle in carrying out the ongoing business activity. The results show that the lack of foreign market knowledge in the ongoing business is determined both by the firm's absorptive capacity generated in dyadic relationships with foreign customers and the customer's network. The dyadic and network absorptive capacities, however, appear to be used differently in the ongoing business. Dyadic absorptive capacity seems to decrease the lack of foreign market knowledge, whereas customer network absorptive capacity seems to increase it.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096959310300101X
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 673-695

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:12:y:2003:i:6:p:673-695
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    1. Desir�e Blankenburg Holm & Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson, 1996. "Business Networks and Cooperation in International Business Relationships," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(4), pages 1033-1053, December.
    2. Phillips McDougall, Patricia & Shane, Scott & Oviatt, Benjamin M., 1994. "Explaining the formation of international new ventures: The limits of theories from international business research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 469-487, November.
    3. Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson & Anders Majkg�rd & D Deo Sharma, 1997. "Experimental Knowledge and Costs in the Internationalization Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 337-360, June.
    4. Desir�e Blankenburg Holm & Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson, 1996. "Business Networks and Cooperation in International Business Relationships," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(5), pages 1033-1053, December.
    5. Chetty, Sylvie & Blankenburg Holm, Desiree, 2000. "Internationalisation of small to medium-sized manufacturing firms: a network approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 77-93, February.
    6. Chetty, S. & Eriksson, K., 2002. "Mutual commitment and experiential knowledge in mature international business relationship," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-324, June.
    7. Coviello, Nicole & Munro, Hugh, 1997. "Network relationships and the internationalisation process of small software firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 361-386, August.
    8. Blankenburg Holm, Desirée & Eriksson, Kent, 2000. "The character of bridgehead relationships," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 191-210, April.
    9. Shawna O'Grady & Henry W Lane, 1996. "The Psychic Distance Paradox," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 309-333, June.
    10. M Krishna Erramilli, 1991. "The Experience Factor in Foreign Market Entry Behavior of Service Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(3), pages 479-501, September.
    11. Homin Chen & Tain-Jy Chen, 1998. "Network Linkages and Location Choice in Foreign Direct Investment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(3), pages 445-467, September.
    12. Benjamin M Oviatt & Patricia Phillips McDougall, 1994. "Toward a Theory of International New ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(1), pages 45-64, March.
    13. Teece, David J., 1982. "Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 39-63, March.
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