توسعه شبکه و رشد شرکت: مطالعه مبتنی بر منابع B2B متولد GLOBALS
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23868||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 42, Issue 5, July 2013, Pages 792–804
Using multiple case studies, we explore how Born Global networks develop as the firm's internal resources grow. Building on networks and entrepreneurship research, we develop a theoretical framework and advance five propositions that link resource development and entrepreneurial orientation to network content, structure, centrality, and management. We also explore the benefits that Born Globals gain from this development. Key findings include: resource accumulation and network development have a strong relationship while network content becomes increasingly strategic; strong entrepreneurial orientation coincides with calculative network management; network benefits are not always advantageous to the firms. This study makes empirical contributions to Born Global and Networks research in the context of Business-to-Business firms, and provides practical implications for Entrepreneurs and Born Global managers.
Born Global (BG) firms are recognized for their early internationalization and fast growth, which markedly sets them apart from the other types of new ventures (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004). These firms represent an extreme case of rapidly internationalizing firms (Knight and Cavusgil, 2004, Oviatt and McDougall, 1994 and Rialp et al., 2005) and they are quite frequently Business-to-Business (B2B) ventures (see Rialp et al., 2005). From inception, these firms seek to gain competitive advantages from the use of resources and the sale of outputs in various countries (Oviatt & McDougall, 1994). They are also characterized by significant resource shortages commonly described as liabilities of smallness, newness, and foreignness (Knight and Cavusgil, 2004 and Partanen et al., 2011). In essence, these liabilities mean that during their early stages, BGs have limited resources like finance or equipment (smallness), lack reputation and legitimacy (newness), and are unfamiliar with various international business environments (foreignness). To make up for these shortages BGs rely on their networks (Laanti et al., 2007 and Oviatt and McDougall, 1994). Born Global networks consist of the collective set of relationships between the firm and external parties such as clients, suppliers, business intermediaries, social contacts, and others provided that they have some resource exchange with the firm (Easton, 1992, Håkansson and Snehota, 1995, Hite and Hesterly, 2001 and Zhou et al., 2007). Networks have links to BGs at virtually every stage of firm development. Before a BG's creation, its founders rely on their networks for legitimacy, capital assets, and support for the startup's subsequent establishment (Greve and Salaff, 2003 and Larson and Starr, 1993). As BGs attempt their first set of international entries, networks help the firms overcome their liabilities through the provision of predominantly human and organizational resources (Coviello & Cox, 2006). Beyond initial growth, BGs continue to rely on networks for increasingly intangible content, such as commercial knowledge, strategic information, and other valuable resources (Hoang & Antoncic, 2003). In essence, networks are a dynamic source of resources that support BGs' survival, internationalization and growth well beyond their initial stages. However as they grow, BGs accumulate their own set of resources that increasingly enables them to take actions they previously were unable to take on their own. As a result, research shows that their resource needs and dynamics change (Coviello, 2006, Hite and Hesterly, 2001 and Hoang and Antoncic, 2003) but little is known about how such changes relate to their networks. Entrepreneurship research has a rich history of network studies, and many of those discuss how networks evolve through a domestic venture creation process (e.g. Greve and Salaff, 2003 and Larson and Starr, 1993). However, their application to BGs is limited because most culminate at firm inception and they tend to overlook a BG's particular context, which significantly differs from other internationalizing firms (Laanti et al., 2007, Morgan-Thomas and Jones, 2009, Oviatt and McDougall, 1994 and Oviatt and McDougall, 2005). Other studies investigate how networks change after venture formation (e.g. Coviello, 2006, Hite and Hesterly, 2001 and Zhou et al., 2007), but these are scarce, typically exclude BGs that become well-established firms, often focus in a single industry, and rarely place the network itself as the focus of analysis (Coviello, 2006). Despite research that demonstrates networks are fundamental to the internationalization and growth of BGs (Laanti et al., 2007 and Partanen et al., 2008), the literature offers little understanding of actual network development processes (Slotte-Kock & Coviello, 2010) and commonly overlooks the progression of BG network exchanges (Barnir and Smith, 2002, Coviello, 2006, Coviello and Cox, 2006, Jack et al., 2010, Lechner and Dowling, 2003, O'Donnell et al., 2001 and Shaw, 2006). This is problematic because finer-grained research about network content is needed to gain richer insights about network evolution, international expansion decisions, resource acquisition, new product development (Coviello, 2006, Hoang and Antoncic, 2003, Hung, 2006 and Shaw, 2006), and about a network's link to firm performance (Coviello and Cox, 2006, Hite and Hesterly, 2001 and Hoang and Antoncic, 2003). In addition, BGs are frequently labeled as ‘entrepreneurial’ despite a shortage of research about a BG's entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and its networks, which if explored could yield valuable insights about how opportunistically BG's employ their networks (Partanen et al., 2011). This lack of research demonstrates how the development of BG networks is an area rich with research opportunity and is a motivation for our study. As a result, the purpose of our investigation is to address the following research question: how does internal resource accumulation relate to the development of a BG's network? Our research question can be broken down into the following three sub-questions: 1) How does the accumulation of internal resources affect network content, structure, and centrality? 2) How does EO affect network management? 3) What benefits do BGs gain from network development? We focus on Business-to-Business (B2B) firms because their network relationships are characterized by interdependencies, mutuality of benefits, and the avoidance of opportunistic behavior (Ford, 1980 and Håkansson and Snehota, 1995), enabling the opportunity to study more observable and longer relationships than in Business-to-Consumer firms. Based on a literature review of networks and entrepreneurship, and the resource based view (RBV) we develop a conceptual framework, advance five propositions, and empirically examine these through a multiple case study. We take support from the seminal works of Van de Ven and Poole (1995) and follow Slotte-Kock and Coviello's (2010) precedent in our empirical analysis of BG and network development. Our findings show that internal resource growth and network development indeed have a strong relationship. Resource accumulation influences changes in network content, centrality, and tie-strength, while network management relates to a BG's entrepreneurial orientation (EO). We also found that the benefits BGs obtain from their networks are not always advantageous to the firms. Our study makes three particular contributions to the Business-to-Business BG networks literature. First, it is one of the few that empirically show how BG networks develop as a result of internal resource accumulation. Second, it is among a few that draw from the RBV to evaluate the ‘strategicness’ of BG network content. Third, it contributes novel insights specific to BGs about the relationships between resource growth and tie-strength, EO and network management, and the benefits of network development.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Extant literature offers little understanding of network development processes (Slotte-Kock & Coviello, 2010) and commonly overlooks the progression of BG network exchanges (Barnir and Smith, 2002, Coviello, 2006, Coviello and Cox, 2006, Jack et al., 2010, Lechner and Dowling, 2003, O'Donnell et al., 2001 and Shaw, 2006). Motivated by this research gap, our guiding research question was: how does internal resource accumulation relate to the development of a BG's network? Our findings provide novel insights on this topic, as we summarize next. In line with the earlier studies (Slotte-Kock & Coviello, 2010), all of our firms took action to shape their network relationships (Hoang and Antoncic, 2003 and Jack et al., 2010) based on their collective resources (Jack et al., 2010 and Shaw, 2006) in a way that satisfied the firms' evolving needs. With growth, our case companies went to network partners in search of increasingly strategic content (proposition 1) via more specialized combinations of resources and capabilities, (similar to Håkansson & Snehota, 1995 and Partanen et al., 2008) in attempts to gain competitive advantages (Brush et al., 2001, Dyer, 1996 and Lavie, 2006). In this process, a mix of tie-strength in relationships emerged more frequently, as proposed by Baker (1990), however in line with Jack (2005), the companies worked to achieve a mix of relationships in which strong ties would eventually predominate — regardless of which tie-strength was dominant in the early stages (proposition 2). Our results on network centrality (proposition 3) were also consistent with the literature in that all firms improved their ability to attract new and more influential partners as they grew (Anderson et al., 1994, Hite and Hesterly, 2001, Johanson and Mattsson, 1988 and Johanson and Mattsson, 1992). However, our two other propositions received mixed support. We found that a strong EO coincided with a calculative approach to network management from an early stage, but in cases when EO became more constrained, network management turned even more calculative (proposition 4), differing from Hite and Hesterly's (2001) findings. And finally, we found that while networks can indeed offer benefits to firms, they can also have a negative effect on the organizations (proposition 5), in line with the dichotomous findings by Brown and Butler (1995). Based on these results, we can make the following conclusions: Internal resource accumulation and network development have a strong relationship. As BGs accumulate internal resources, network content becomes increasingly strategic, strong ties turn less prevalent, and centrality improves. A strong EO coincides with calculative network management. Just as networks can offer benefits they can also have negative effects on BGs. Our findings make three particular academic contributions in the context of Business-to-Business Born Global firms. First, it is one of the few empirical studies showing how networks develop as a result of a BGs internal resource growth, contributing to a scant number of articles in this area (Coviello, 2006 and Coviello and Cox, 2006). Second, it is among the first to find that BG network content becomes increasingly strategic with internal resource growth, hence building on earlier extensions of the RBV in network studies (Dyer and Singh, 1998, Inkpen and Tsang, 2005, Lavie, 2006 and Yli-Renko et al., 2002) but under the novel context of BGs. Third, our results bring new empirical insights about the development of tie-strength, centrality, network management and firm performance, which are specific to BGs and are frequently absent in the more general network research. A particularly interesting result was the dichotomy of network benefits, which were mostly advantageous to firms but at times were less than favorable. In this respect, we add insights to a continuing debate about the impact of networks on firms and their performance (Ellis, 2011, Gulati et al., 2000, Hoang and Antoncic, 2003, Zhang, 2010 and Zhou et al., 2007). Our investigation opened up interesting areas for future research. First, future studies on the link between network development, resources, and BG performance would benefit from longitudinal research in countries other than those with small and open economies, like Finland as Partanen et al. (2008) also suggest. Such studies would enable a comparison of network and resource development patterns that may follow different trajectories and from which new insights may be uncovered for B2B BGs, similar to the differences Ellis (2011) found about the use of networks by entrepreneurs in open vs. less-open economies. Second, our research was limited to the study of network relationships from the BGs' point of view due to budgetary and resource constraints. Future network research that increasingly includes customers, suppliers, and intermediaries would answer multiple calls (Coviello, 2006 and Zaheer and Bell, 2005) and provide a more multilateral view of the prompts and processes behind resource and network development. Lastly, although our investigation was not about Van de Ven and Poole's (1995) conditions and mechanisms of development in BGs, we contend that future research on BG networks would significantly benefit from such a targeted study, providing contextual insights about the motors of development in BG networks. Our findings also have positive managerial implications. Managers of B2B Born Globals can use our findings in an assessment of their own networks in order to identify what types of network resources are needed, when they are needed, and how they change, so they may work to develop their networks into a competitive advantage. The results also show how BG managers should strive to accumulate internal resources so as to enable the procurement of increasingly strategic network content. As they grow, BGs should rely mainly on strong ties and firms that don't have such relationships should work strenuously to establish them. At the same time, BGs should complement their relationship portfolio with weak ties so as to prevent restrictions that networks can pose on performance.