اثرات تمایل کارآفرینی و دانش بازار خارجی بر بین المللی سازی اولیه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|14432||2007||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 42, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 281–293
Recent international entrepreneurship literature suggests an apparent tension in regard to the role of foreign market knowledge between the process models of internationalization and the early internationalization of born-global firms. From an entrepreneurial learning perspective, we argue that the tension can be resolved by understanding the source of the knowledge. For early internationalizing firms, foreign market knowledge tends to emanate from the innovative and proactive pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities across national borders, rather than from incremental accumulation of experience in foreign markets. Using survey data from young international entrepreneurial firms in mainland China, we test and support a mediating mechanism of foreign market knowledge as it relates to the pace and performance of early internationalization. This study contributes to the theoretical development in the emergent field of international entrepreneurship.
Scholars at the intersection of entrepreneurship and internationalization have recently engaged in theoretical and empirical inquiries into the emerging phenomenon of “born-global” internationalization, which characterizes entrepreneurial firms that internationalize shortly after their inception (McDougall & Oviatt, 2000). By definition, born globals tend to be young, small and medium-sized entrepreneurial firms that, from or near founding, obtain a substantial portion of total revenue from the sale of outputs in multiple countries (Knight & Cavusgil, 1996; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994). From this perspective, the speed and growth of early internationalization are two key indicators of born-global opportunity exploitation (Autio, Sapienza, & Almeida, 2000; Oviatt & McDougall, 2005). The study of born-global or early internationalization has now become an important part of the growing international entrepreneurship literature (McDougall & Oviatt, 2000). Although much of the theorizing and empirical inquiries into the born-global or early internationalization have challenged the dominant logic of time-based experience (i.e., behavioral learning from operations abroad) in the traditional process theories of internationalization (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977 and Johanson and Vahlne, 1990), the driving mechanism of early internationalization remains an interesting puzzle. In particular, theories explaining born-global internationalization have, by their nature, stressed foreign market knowledge as a key factor to understand and explain the rapid internationalization of the firms (Autio et al., 2000; Knight & Cavusgil, 2004; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994). Interestingly enough, however, the knowledge factor has also been emphasized in the traditional models of internationalization (Eriksson, Johanson, Majkgard, & Sharma, 2000; Johanson & Vahlne, 2003). Thus, both traditional and born-global views assert that knowledge-based capabilities are important for successful international expansion. Although the two approaches differ in that the born-global view argues that foreign market knowledge can be acquired early on in the life of the firm (Autio et al., 2000), the tension between the incremental internationalization on the one hand, and the born-global internationalization on the other is yet to be resolved (Johanson & Vahlne, 2003; Oviatt & McDougall, 2005). This paper proposes that the born-global view is driven by the premise that early internationalization is gained by exploring opportunities as opposed to by solving knowledge problems in the international marketplace. This means that the driving mechanism for the born-global model shifts from the focus on the time-based accumulation of market knowledge in the traditional models of internationalization to the emphasis on opportunity identification and exploration (Oviatt & McDougall, 2005; Zahra, 2005). We conceptualize the opportunity-driven mechanism by focusing on the role of international entrepreneurial proclivity (a strategic orientation towards entrepreneurial learning and opportunity exploration) in relation to the market knowledge factor. Seen from the entrepreneurial market-learning framework (Matsuno, Mentzer, & Özsomer, 2002), entrepreneurial proclivity is viewed to promote a greater level of information-scanning activities and it fosters an increased knowledge base and responsiveness related to the external market environment. Matsuno et al. (2002) reasoned that the three dimensions of a firm's entrepreneurial proclivity (proactiveness, risk taking, and innovativeness) collectively facilitate the firm's willingness and ability to engage in market learning activities. In new and dynamic foreign markets, entrepreneurial proclivity was found to play an even more important role in determining an international firm's behavior and performance (e.g., Dimitratos, Lioukas, & Carter, 2004; Yeoh & Jeong, 1995). According to Toyne (1989), entrepreneurial behavior provides international firms with dynamic capabilities to engage in cross-border activities and trade. From the work of Knight and Cavusgil (2004), entrepreneurial culture is manifested in the context of born-global internationalization. Particularly, they proposed that innovative organizational culture drives unique product and technology-based advantages which in turn contribute to the superior performance of born-global internationalization. In this paper, we focus on the entrepreneurial source of market knowledge as opposed to product or technology-based competitive advantages. We expect that firms with international entrepreneurial proclivity have the dynamic capability to develop foreign market knowledge rapidly and internationalize early. In the traditional model, the capability to internationalize is often assumed to be built through time-based experience rather than through entrepreneurial behaviors. Thus, international entrepreneurial proclivity is what distinguishes the born-global approach from the traditional ones. Using a large national sample of young international entrepreneurial firms from China, we find significant effects of international entrepreneurial proclivity on the speed of born-global development and performance of early internationalization through the pathway of foreign market knowledge. This study addresses the aforementioned tension by emphasizing an entrepreneurial outlook of foreign market knowledge as opposed to an experience-based accumulation of the knowledge. We conclude that young internationalizing firms must develop other mechanisms to acquire the requisite knowledge and resources. Our research contributes to the recent theoretical development in the field of international entrepreneurship. In the following sections, conceptual foundations and hypotheses are provided. Then, research methodology is described and followed by data analysis and results. Finally, managerial implications are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Unlike the existing research that focuses on the impact of early internationalization on subsequent performance from foreign operations (Autio et al., 2000) or the competitive factors that drive superior international business performance in born-global firms (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004), this study is more concerned with the mechanism that escalates the pace of early internationalization. The current literature suggests that international development of born-global firms is intimately related to competitive strategies of innovative technology and specialized products for niche and emerging markets (Rialp et al., 2005). It has also been emphasized that early internationalizing firms leverage an innovative organizational culture and knowledge-based capabilities (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004). Yet, researchers are only beginning to exploit the opening opportunities (Oviatt & McDougall, 2005; Zahra, 2005). This study is an initial step to address the important question—whether or not foreign market knowledge may lead to early and rapid internationalization? We argue that for early internationalizing firms, foreign market knowledge tends to emanate from the innovative and proactive pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities across national borders, rather than from incremental accumulation of time-based experience from foreign operations. To test our argument, we focus on the entrepreneurial nature of young international firms and examine the entrepreneurial determinant of foreign market knowledge in relation to the pace and performance of early internationalization. It is found that foreign market knowledge leads to early and rapid internationalization, and more importantly, this effect is driven by international entrepreneurial proclivity. This finding corroborates the entrepreneurial nature of smaller and younger international firms (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004; Oviatt & McDougall, 1995). More interestingly, the three dimensions of entrepreneurial proclivity do not seem to play an equally important role in facilitating the knowledge effect on born-global internationalization. Based on our results, the proactiveness dimension appears to be more pronounced, followed by the innovative dimension. But, the risk-taking dimension is less salient. The reason might be that risk-taking proclivity is more related to managers’ perception of the cost of internationalization (Eriksson et al., 1997), rather than the accumulation of market knowledge. These results suggest that the different dimensions of entrepreneurial proclivity should be treated separately for the study of early internationalization behavior. We caution that aggregating dimensions can mask the effects of individual components. It seems reasonable to conclude that the source and nature of foreign market knowledge drives the difference between traditional process models of internationalization and the new phenomenon of early internationalization. Our study identifies entrepreneurial proclivity as a critical antecedent of foreign market knowledge among younger international firms. For early internationalization, it is highly advisable to promote acquisition of foreign market knowledge while maintaining the internationalizing firm's level of entrepreneurial proclivity, especially along with the proactiveness and innovativeness dimensions. Moreover, entrepreneurial learning of market knowledge cannot be assumed to be an automatic process. Our results indicate that it can be affected by cultural diversity of the countries in which the internationalizing firm has sales or operations. This seems particularly important to the early internationalization of smaller firms from culturally distinctive countries such as China. The less significant result concerning the effect of speed in born-global development on international sales performance was unexpected. The possible explanation is that the international performance measure we used seems to capture the performance in recent years, not necessarily immediately after the initialization of born-global internationalization. Alternatively, the international performance of early internationalizing firms appears to be more relevant to resource and capability oriented variables such as firm size, foreign market knowledge, and entrepreneurial proclivity. In conclusion, our results revealed some of the antecedents of international performance in early internationalizing firms. Further research is needed to validate our research framework and findings by way of more comprehensive performance measures and control variables. For example, it would be interesting to control for other potential variables such as firm international and domestic growth factors in our analyses. Moreover, given the complexity of learning mechanisms from foreign operations (Autio et al., 2000, Yeoh, 2004 and Zahra et al., 2000), we contend more attention should be devoted to exploring other sources of knowledge acquisition mechanisms (Liesch & Knight, 1999). For example, it can be expected that foreign market knowledge could be acquired from relationship networks (Haahti et al., 2005) or by acquiring local firms (Barkema & Vermeulen, 1998). In fact, Johanson and Vahlne (2003) recently stated that re-conceptualization of firm internationalization can be enhanced from business relationship learning. We believe a more significant insight could be gained from incorporating business relationship learning into our research model. Furthermore, it may also be worthwhile further testing a broader range of international diversity variables such as technological and geographical diversity of international markets (Zahra et al., 2000) within our research context. Also, a more refined cultural diversity measure should probably be considered so as to enhance the validity of research (Shenkar, 2001). Albeit the limitations, we feel that this study adds useful insight to the emergent field of international entrepreneurship. Finally, as research on international entrepreneurship continues to grow, a grand unifying direction for theoretical and practical inquiries may be necessary. It is noted that Jones and Coviello (2005) recently consolidate different views from international entrepreneurship researchers and shed light on the direction for continued research in the field. They consider entrepreneurial internationalization behavior as a complex social phenomenon and point out the need to use multi-theoretical perspectives to build momentum and dynamism with time. Moreover, the conceptual framework of Oviatt and McDougall (2005) presents an important linkage between entrepreneurship and opportunity exploration on an international scale. They attribute a broader scope to international entrepreneurship by widening the entrepreneurial horizons to encompass border-less resources and networks. We feel there is clear opportunity to develop a range of more dynamic models toward an integrated understanding of entrepreneurial internationalization behavior.