Networking capability development in new venture internationalisation: a theory building approach

Warner, Karl S.R. (2014) Networking capability development in new venture internationalisation: a theory building approach. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis aims to explore how technology start-ups build dynamic capabilities in networking to enable their new venture internationalisation (NVI). Positioned within the theoretical context of international entrepreneurship research, this thesis draws on the strategic management, entrepreneurship, and international business literature. Specifically, this thesis draws on three theoretical perspectives: (1) dynamic capabilities, (2) networking and social capital, and (3) NVI theory. Together this study combines Helfat et al. (2007) asset orchestration framework along with Nahapiet and Ghoshal’s (1998) three dimensions of social capital as a theoretical lens to explore how various networking activities enable or inhibit NVI. Specifically, this thesis explores three overarching network processes, with respect to how international new ventures (INVs) (1) create, (2) extend, and (3) modify their social capital in high-technology markets.

The empirical context is Scottish and Australian medical technology start-ups that compete in the global medical technology sector, a distinct sector of the wider life sciences industry. Methodologically, this an interpretivist study, which takes an abductive approach to building theory from longitudinal multiple case study research. The focal actor (i.e. level of analysis) is the INV, while the unit of analysis is the focal actor’s network relationships. Data collection and analysis took place over three iterative phases drawing on multiple primary and secondary data sources and processual analytical techniques. To collect these data, this thesis used semi-structured interviews drawing on the critical incident and narrative sequence techniques along with documents, and observation. This study began with a purposeful sample of eight medical technology start-ups, and as findings emerged, a theoretical sample of four cases, along with visual maps, conceptually ordered displays and case-ordered effects matrices helped focus and refine the cross-case analysis. From the emergent cross-case data analysis, three overarching aggregate categories were found to aggregate eleven second-order themes, which aggregate several first-order concepts.

The overarching finding of this thesis is that networking capability development is an affect-based emergent process that enables NVI. Specifically, this thesis makes three contributions to knowledge. The primary contribution of this thesis takes a step towards a process theory of networking capability development. Therefore, this study identifies networking capability as one particular type of dynamic capability that enables NVI. Secondly, this thesis begins to unlock the black box of networking by identifying several networking activities that underpin the network-enhancing, network-delaying, and network-modifying process, which triggers, enables, and accelerates a virtuous cycle of networking capability development. Finally, this thesis argues that learning from delays and nurturing core ties helps shift technology start-ups’ reliance from impersonal relations towards future aspirations to internalise operations. A discussion of these findings then outlines the implications for theory, policy, and practice. This study closes with a discussion on research limitations and recommends new avenues for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Dynamic capabilities, networking, social capital, new venture internationalisation, international entrepreneurship, medical technology start-ups.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Supervisor's Name: Jones, Professor Marian
Date of Award: 2014
Depositing User: Mr Karl S.R. Warner
Unique ID: glathesis:2014-5418
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2014 13:01
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2017 08:37

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