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Turning social capital into business: A study of the internationalization of biotech SMEs

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  • Lindstrand, Angelika
  • Melén, Sara
  • Nordman, Emilia Rovira

Abstract

This study examines how individuals' social capital and its dimensions affect biotech SMEs' acquisition of foreign market knowledge and financial resources during their internationalization processes. To examine these processes, we conducted a longitudinal cross-case study of 14 Swedish biotech SMEs. The results show not only that all dimensions (structural, relational, and cognitive) of social capital affect the acquisition of foreign market knowledge and financial resources, but also that the usefulness of individuals' social capital often changes during SMEs' internationalization. Social capital use can contribute to a rapid internationalization; however, this may impede a firm's understanding of a foreign market. We thus find that those biotech SMEs that experienced an incremental internationalization process were the most successful.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindstrand, Angelika & Melén, Sara & Nordman, Emilia Rovira, 2011. "Turning social capital into business: A study of the internationalization of biotech SMEs," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 194-212, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:20:y:2011:i:2:p:194-212
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    Cited by:

    1. Suh, Yongyoon & Kim, Moon-Soo, 2014. "Internationally leading SMEs vs. internationalized SMEs: Evidence of success factors from South Korea," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 115-129.
    2. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9513-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hélène Laurell & Leona Achtenhagen & Svante Andersson, 2017. "The changing role of network ties and critical capabilities in an international new venture’s early development," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 113-140, March.
    4. Martineau, Charles & Pastoriza, David, 2016. "International involvement of established SMEs: A systematic review of antecedents, outcomes and moderators," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 458-470.
    5. Nordman, Emilia Rovira & Tolstoy, Daniel, 2014. "Does relationship psychic distance matter for the learning processes of internationalizing SMEs?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 30-37.
    6. repec:eee:worbus:v:52:y:2017:i:5:p:653-663 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Merino, Fernando & Monreal-Pérez, Joaquín & Sánchez-Marín, Gregorio, 2012. "Family firm internationalization: Influence of familiness on the Spanish firm export activity," Kiel Working Papers 1770, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Gerschewski, Stephan & Xiao, Simon Shufeng, 2015. "Beyond financial indicators: An assessment of the measurement of performance for international new ventures," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 615-629.
    9. Nordman, Emilia Rovira & Tolstoy, Daniel, 2016. "The impact of opportunity connectedness on innovation in SMEs’ foreign-market relationships," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 57, pages 47-57.
    10. Paul, Justin & Parthasarathy, Sundar & Gupta, Parul, 2017. "Exporting challenges of SMEs: A review and future research agenda," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 327-342.
    11. repec:eee:jbrese:v:82:y:2018:i:c:p:230-245 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Eriksson, Kent & Jonsson, Sara & Lindbergh, Jessica & Lindstrand, Angelika, 2014. "Modeling firm specific internationalization risk: An application to banks’ risk assessment in lending to firms that do international business," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1074-1085.

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