International diversification and performance: A study of global law firms
This paper is an exploration of the internationalization-performance relationship in the context of contemporary knowledge intensive services. After background literature, we build theory in the context of service firms to explain how performance in international diversification largely depends on building various relevant organizational competencies. We develop two hypotheses: one concerning a reverse u-shaped internationalization-performance function for these firms in general, and another differentiating between U.S. and U.K. firms. Data on 76 U.S. and 13 U.K. firms are analyzed using hierarchical regression. The findings sustain the reverse u-shaped internationalization-performance relationship for these firms in general, but also suggest that the prospects are quite different for U.S. versus U.K. firms. Our findings add to an emerging stream of research that indicates a resolution to the hitherto ambiguous internationalization-performance relationship; and we also suggest a convergence between findings in capital-intensive and knowledge-intensive industries. The paper concludes with some implications for practitioners.
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Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
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