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Interdependence between Forms of Companies International Activity and Use of External Knowledge Sources


  • Marcin Soniewicki

    (Poznan University of Economics, Poland)


Knowledge is currently perceived in the scientific literature as a crucial element in creating competitive advantage of an enterprise (Jashapara 2006, p. 24; Paliszkiewicz 2007, p. 35). Therefore companies need to put particular attention to their actions in terms of this resource (Handzic and Zhou 2005, p. 4; Geisler and Wichramasinghe 2009, p. 18). It is especially important among companies in the internationalization process as they operate on many diverse markets and need more, heterogeneous knowledge (Soniewicki 2014). This article concentrates on the narrow, however very important, initial element of companies’ knowledge actions – external knowledge acquisition. It examines the use of various knowledge sources, distinguished on the basis of knowledge management literature, by companies operating in foreign markets. The article presents in-depth analyzes of particular external knowledge sources usage by businesses applying various forms of internationalization. The analyzed data come from quantitative empirical research in which almost 1300 companies have been examined. 723 of them have been engaged in operations abroad. The results show that there are specific differences in use of examined knowledge sources depending on the form of internationalization that companies use while operating in foreign markets. Enterprises using advanced internationalization forms more intensively acquire external knowledge and put greater attention to more sophisticated and costly knowledge sources.

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