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The Best of Both Worlds: The Effects of Knowledge and Network Relationships on Performance of Returnee Entrepreneurial Firms
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies. (International Business)
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

In an increasingly globalized business world, international human mobility and its association with entrepreneurship presents attractive opportunities for business research. One increasingly important phenomenon in the field is returnee entrepreneurship, which is the reverse flow of migrants who acquired skills in developed countries back to their emerging-market home countries. In this way, knowledge from developed countries transfers back to, and fills technological and entrepreneurial gaps in, emerging countries. This thesis aims to explain returnee entrepreneurship by examining what factors differentiate innovation, internationalization and business performance of returnee entrepreneurial firms.

The empirical investigation uses a mixed method approach comprising a qualitative single case study and four quantitative studies of a recent sample of 200 Chinese returnee entrepreneurial firms, and focusses on factors such as knowledge and network relationships, which are two advantages that returnee entrepreneurial firms are thought to have. By distinguishing among types of knowledge from various sources, and network relationships from both international and domestic origins, the findings show that international opportunity knowledge and domestic business relationships influence the innovation performance of returnee entrepreneurial firms. The structural characteristics of the international network of a returnee entrepreneurial firm are related to that firm’s international networking capability, which in turn influence its opportunity-driven internationalization. Additionally, the international experiential knowledge of returnee entrepreneurs nurtures their firms’ international market knowledge, and these experiences also indirectly affect firm internationalization by being transmitted through that market knowledge. Finally, international networking capability and innovation performance positively influence the business performance of returnee entrepreneurial firms, whereas the international business knowledge has a negative impact on business performance.

The thesis challenges the enthusiastic view of returnee entrepreneurial firms by refining the heterogeneity of both the returnee entrepreneurs themselves, and the performance variances of their ventures. Empirically, this thesis suggests a combination of knowledge and resources from both ‘worlds’ that can best benefit the performance of a returnee entrepreneurial firm. This thesis also contributes to theory by providing new insights into the combined effect of (1) an individual entrepreneur’s international experience, and (2) a new venture’s knowledge base and capabilities; furthermore it also describes what that combined effect will be on the new venture’s performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2017. , p. 105
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 184
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312946ISBN: 978-91-506-2616-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-312946DiVA, id: diva2:1065444
Public defence
2017-03-06, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-02-10 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-02-10
List of papers
1. Linking periphery with centre: The usefulness and liability of returnee entrepreneurial firm in home country context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Linking periphery with centre: The usefulness and liability of returnee entrepreneurial firm in home country context
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312942 (URN)
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-02-10
2. The best of both worlds: Domestic and international business relationships and opportunity knowledge and their impact on returnee entrepreneurial firms’ innovation performance.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The best of both worlds: Domestic and international business relationships and opportunity knowledge and their impact on returnee entrepreneurial firms’ innovation performance.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312944 (URN)
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2017-02-10
3. International opportunity networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International opportunity networks
2018 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 70, no S1, p. 167-179Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Opportunity seeking has become increasingly important for explaining firm internationalization, but our understanding of how opportunity is mediated within international networks is limited. This study probes the concept of network-mediated opportunities and attempts to identify what drives a firm's reception of new international opportunities. Based on the notion of opportunity in the entrepreneurship literature with the network view on internationalization, we bring together the concepts of relationships, networks, capabilities, and opportunity in a structural model, where we hypothesize that network-mediated opportunity is dependent on networking capability. This, in turn, is positively influenced by network closure and relational embeddedness. We test the model on a sample of 200 Chinese firms. The analysis partly supports the model, as we find that networking capability is a mediating factor between relational embeddedness and network-mediated opportunity, but does not mediate the relationship between network closure and network-mediated opportunity; on the other hand, we find a direct relationship between network closure and network-mediated opportunity. The paper ends with a discussion of the results and suggestions for future research.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-312945 (URN)10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.07.004 (DOI)000433400700015 ()
Available from: 2017-01-16 Created: 2017-01-16 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved
4. Knowledge and internationalization of returnee entrepreneurial firms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Knowledge and internationalization of returnee entrepreneurial firms
2017 (English)In: International Business Review, ISSN 0969-5931, E-ISSN 1873-6149, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 652-665Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to answer whether and how returnee entrepreneurs’ international experience and returnee entrepreneurial firms’ international market knowledge influence these firms’ internationaliza-tion. Anchored in a framework combining an entrepreneurial and knowledge-based view, we develop a model and four hypotheses on the relations between returnee entrepreneurs’ international experience, international market knowledge, international market commitment, and level of internationalization of the returnee entrepreneurial firm. Empirical evidence of the proposed model is derived from a recent sample of Chinese returnee SMEs in knowledge-intensive and high-technology industries. The main finding is that returnee entrepreneurs’ international experience nurtures international market knowledge of returnee entrepreneurial firms, which in turn has a positive effect on these firms’ international market commitment and level of internationalization. In terms of theory, the study extends our understanding of returnee entrepreneurial firms by uncovering the role of returnee entrepreneurs’ international experience and returnee firms’ international market knowledge during their initial and early international expansion.

Keywords
International new ventures, International experience, Internationalization, Knowledge-based view, Level of internationalization, Market commitment, Market knowledge, Returnee entrepreneurs
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-311365 (URN)10.1016/j.ibusrev.2016.12.006 (DOI)000404204200005 ()
Available from: 2016-12-25 Created: 2016-12-25 Last updated: 2018-09-14Bibliographically approved
5. The performance of international returnee ventures: The role of networking capability and the usefulness of international business knowledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The performance of international returnee ventures: The role of networking capability and the usefulness of international business knowledge
2016 (English)In: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, ISSN 0898-5626, E-ISSN 1464-5114, Vol. 28, no 9-10, p. 657-680Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper sheds light on the international new ventures led by returnee entrepreneurs and investigates the influence of networking capability and the usefulness of international knowledge for the overall performance of so-called international returnee ventures (IRVs). By integrating network theory with a capability view of firm performance, it advances six hypotheses that form a structural model, which is tested with LISREL on a sample of 194 IRVs from China. The findings show that international networking capability has a positive influence on the provision of international business knowledge, which in turn is positively related to the innovation performance, but they have a negative impact on the financial performance. Hence, this study presents a discussion of the usefulness of knowledge gained from the international network relationships of emerging market returnee entrepreneurs.

Keywords
International returnee venture, international networking capability, international business knowledge, innovation performance, financial performance
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303827 (URN)10.1080/08985626.2016.1234003 (DOI)000390749800003 ()
Note

All authors have contributed equally to this paper.

Available from: 2016-09-24 Created: 2016-09-24 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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