The impact of business owners' personal behaviour, network size, network position and network actor attributes on SMEs' commitment to offshore expansion: a network study

Chen, John (Yen-Kuang) (2012). The impact of business owners' personal behaviour, network size, network position and network actor attributes on SMEs' commitment to offshore expansion: a network study PhD Thesis, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Chen, John (Yen-Kuang)
Thesis Title The impact of business owners' personal behaviour, network size, network position and network actor attributes on SMEs' commitment to offshore expansion: a network study
School, Centre or Institute UQ Business School
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-08
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor John Steen
Tim Kastelle
Total pages 229
Total colour pages 6
Total black and white pages 223
Language eng
Subjects 150308 International Business
150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Abstract/Summary The firm internationalisation literature has had a long history of exploring the effect of networks on a firm's engagement in foreign market expansion. The Uppsala model (U-model) of internationalisation has recently been revised to propose a network-oriented model of internationalisation, where a firm’s opportunities in offshore investment are based on relationships and is network-driven. This project looks to build on the revised U-model by collecting network data to statistically assess the network structural properties (i.e., network size and network position) and network actor attributes (local versus international contacts and the type of contact, such as suppliers, clients, competitors and contractors) that affect a firm's commitment to offshore expansion. Business owner's personal characteristics have also been assessed to predict for the composition of network structure and network content. Accordingly, a multi-level assessment has been carried out where business owners’ personal characteristics are correlated with network size and network position. Given that statistical network analysis has seldom been applied in firm internationalisation research, two field studies have been carried out to ensure the theoretical and methodological framework underpinning the statistical network analysis is appropriate for collecting network data when exploring a firm internationalisation research question. In addition to statistical network analysis, qualitative data have also been collected to triangulate the quantitative network findings. Results suggest that business owners with a high level of risk propensity and a high level of self-monitoring are more likely to occupy a central network position. However, only a moderate positive effect has been detected for the effect of network size and network position on firms’ commitment to offshore expansion. Among the network actor attributes, ties with overseas-based client contacts are more advantageous, because overseas-based client contacts have better exposure to foreign market knowledge which contributes business owners to locate offshore business opportunities. Exponential random graph models show that the industry network has a high level of connectivity that is indicative of transitivity and relational embeddedness, and these structures may facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources − leading to the internationalisation of the industry. Hypotheses and a conceptual model, considered as an extension of the revised U-model, have been developed at the completion of this project to offer a theoretical framework for future network studies in order to extend the understanding on the effect of networks in the process of firm internationalisation.
Keyword Firm internationalisation
Industry network
Statistical network analysis
Exponential random graph modelling

 
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Created: Mon, 18 Feb 2013, 07:51:09 EST by Mr John Chen on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service