مزیت رقابتی زود هنگام و به سرعت بین المللی کردن SME ها در صنعت بیوتکنولوژی: دیدگاه مبتنی بر دانش
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|515||2007||17 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 350–366
Our knowledge on ‘born globals’ (BG) is fragmented and lacks an integrative framework. Starting from a knowledge-based view of the firm, we analyse internationally active biotechnology small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from Switzerland, Germany, and Australia to find out about the generation and protection of their competitive advantage that enables them to internationalise early and rapidly. Our results question some of the conventional wisdom on ‘born globals’ and discuss implications for the established body of knowledge as well as implications for practitioners.
The past 10 years have brought forth an impressive volume of research on internationally active small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Throughout this paper, we will refer to them as ‘born globals’ (BGs), being aware of the multitude of other denominations.1 However, the call for papers of this special issue of JWB notes very well that research on these firms is fragmented and lacks a cohesive theoretical framework. As of today, the field of international entrepreneurship (IE) is lacking in solid theoretical frameworks, a deficiency that may cause fragmentation in this area (McDougall & Oviatt, 2000). Gaps remain in terms of the development of normative implications for international new ventures (INVs), and in the elaboration of new theoretical insight for the development of practitioner-oriented planning frameworks (Autio, 2005). Although authors have employed perspectives as different as organisational learning (Zahra, Ireland, & Hitt, 2000) and evolutionary economics (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004), we neither completely understand which capabilities enable SMEs to be internationally active at all, nor do we know the elements of their international competitive advantage. Both conventional wisdom that assumes a constrained resource endowment of SMEs, and the export-focussed view on BGs have limited our understanding of why an SME becomes a BG (Jones, 1999). Some issues that can greatly favour internationalisation of SMEs, such as intellectual property rights protection, have received little attention. Moreover, in our own empirical work which is featured in this article, we found some surprising phenomena, such as internationally active SMEs that are not exporting at all, new business strategies based on comparative advantage in international value chains, and SMEs that by virtue of intellectual property rights can serve world markets. Given these gaps in theory and these empirical phenomena, we feel that there is a need for an inductive, hypothesis-generating approach. Specifically, we want to identify the basis of the competitive advantage of a BG that enables it to early and rapidly internationalise. Thus, we do not focus here on the patterns and entry modes of the internationalisation process. Rather, we ask which specific intra-firm resources and capabilities enable the firm's internationalisation process at all. Thus, we lament that there has been very little empirical research aimed at uncovering the actual bundles of capabilities that make SMEs internationalise early (Knight & Cavusgil, 2004). To make this contribution, we analyse empirical findings from in-depth case studies of six BGs from the biotechnology sector. This analysis is guided by the following research questions: (1) What is the basis of a BG's competitive advantage, given the common presumption that BGs have a limited resource endowment and thus suffer from a ‘liability of smallness’? (2) How is this competitive advantage generated, sustained, and protected? (3) How is the rent-generating potential of an SME's competitive advantage effectively realised in international markets, that is: how can BGs transform their specialised knowledge into business performance, given their lack of tangible resources? To explore these questions, this paper will proceed as follows. Having set out in detail the theoretical and empirical need for our investigation, we will conceptually base our paper on the knowledge-based view of the firm and explain why this perspective is suitable for an analysis of our research questions (Section 2). Having described our research methodology (Section 3), we feature and analyse the empirical data obtained from our interviews. These findings and analyses are then used to construct a model of how SMEs can early and rapidly internationalise (Section 4). Subsequently, we discuss the implications of our findings for future theory development (Section 5), for managers (Section 6), and the limitations of our approach as well as directions for future research (Section 7).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Returning to our research questions as stated in Section 1, by using the knowledge-based view of the firm as a conceptual foundation, we have provided some evidence as to what the basis of BGs’ competitive advantage is and how it can be sustained by adequate protection. We have also argued that the ‘liability of smallness’ of BGs has been overstated, and shown that there are many innovative measures BGs have found to overcome the problem of limited tangible resources. Finally, we have suggested a model that details two conditions for the early and rapid internationalisation of the firm that may serve as a potential starting point for future theory development and empirical research. However, these contributions are not without limitations from which paths for possible future research can be identified. First, our investigation was specific to the biotechnology industry. Given that our findings have relativised some of our extant knowledge on BGs and have pointed to areas that have received little attention (such as the protection of intellectual property rights), the activity of BGs in this sector should be much more explored. Besides studies that would investigate the behaviour of BGs from the biotechnology sector in greater detail, it would also be desirable to see empirical studies that compare the effects we have found in the biotechnology industry to others industry sectors. Second, in our conceptual development we have focussed on the knowledge-based view of the firm, and in the development of our model, we have complemented this view by drawing on thoughts from social capital theory and the network perspective of the firm. This implies that we might have missed out on other important variables and sources of explanatory power. Future research could therefore further refine our constructs by identifying possibly omitted variables, and by challenging our findings from different theoretical viewpoints. Third, by the inductive, hypotheses-generating nature of our paper, our sampling design is conceptual, and it intertwines two different sources of information, namely both personalised interview data (cases A, B, C, and D) and secondary archival data (cases E and F). Therefore, our findings should be seen as a collection of interesting cases that allow you to identify a set of causal mechanisms and ‘underlying’ variables. These can serve as a first step towards developing a testable framework of the early and rapid internationalisation of the firm.