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A Political View on the Internationalization Process
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The role of governments in the internationalization of the firm had early recognition in prominent seminal studies in international business, such as Hymer’s thesis or the Uppsala Model, though the interaction between multinationals and governments has attracted scarce attention. As such, the main stream of economics and management studies have focused on internationalization essentially as an issue of the firm, wherein the multinationals’ interaction with the environment is limited to a business-industrial scope of suppliers, clients, and competitors.

In a different direction, this thesis includes the political setting and studies the beneficial side of governments in the internationalization process of the firm. With this purpose, the present dissertation proposes a conceptual framework based on Johanson and Vahlne’s (1977) internationalization process model, complemented with Williamson’s (1975) Transaction Costs Economics, and encompassed by conceptual insights from institutional studies related to international business. Specifically, the role of governments in the internationalization process is examined through the variances of the relation between knowledge and commitment at the micro, meso, and macro level.

The structure of the thesis reflects the multilevel approach, integrating one conceptual and three empirical papers, each of which dealing with a particular level of analysis. Through the aggregation of each paper’s intrinsic contribution, the dissertation’s summary offers a wide view on the internationalization phenomena, adding the political elements to the industrial-business elements of the environment. Overall, internationalization is conceptualized as a process of interaction with the business environment, whereas the public nature of political elements induces the compromise of combining activities between firms and governments. Evidence gives the ground to conclude that internationalization is not a game played just between firms, or, even, between firms and markets, but also with and within governments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2013. , 109 p.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 158
Keyword [en]
Internationalization Process, Uppsala Model, Transaction Cost Economics, Institutional theory, Firm, Multinational, Government
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196465OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-196465DiVA: diva2:610193
Public defence
2013-04-25, Hörsal 1, Kyrkogardsgatan, 10, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-04 Created: 2013-03-08 Last updated: 2013-12-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Risk Management in the internationalization process of the firm: A note on the Uppsala model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk Management in the internationalization process of the firm: A note on the Uppsala model
2011 (English)In: Journal of world business (Print), ISSN 1090-9516, E-ISSN 1878-5573, Vol. 46, no 2, 143-153 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analytically and graphically examines the Uppsala model's risk formula (Johanson & Vahlne, 1977) in its two variables: commitment and uncertainty. The graphical treatment of the variables demonstrates the internationalization mechanism's consistency with the risk formula. In particular, commitment manipulation develops a risk management perspective to the model, wherein contingent uncertainty is a central concept. The main contribution consists in the composition of a set of hypotheses on the effects of risk contingencies on a firm's commitment behavior in different internationalization phases. A pertinent remark that emerges from this analytical exercise is the Uppsala model's contingent nature, which explains the differences in the pattern and pace of the internationalization process, as well as potential leapfrogging and market-exit moves.

Keyword
Commitment, Contingency, Contingent uncertainty, Internationalization, Internationalization process, Knowledge, Risk, Risk management, Uncertainty, Uppsala model
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141635 (URN)10.1016/j.jwb.2010.05.008 (DOI)000289012300002 ()
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Internationalization Processes in Stable and Unstable Market Conditions: Towards a model of commitment decisions in dynamic environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internationalization Processes in Stable and Unstable Market Conditions: Towards a model of commitment decisions in dynamic environments
2014 (English)In: Journal of world business (Print), ISSN 1090-9516, E-ISSN 1878-5573, Vol. 49, no 3, 332-349 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article proposes a managerial decision framework to deal with internationalization whether in stable or dynamic environments. While displaying the effects of unstable and stable environmental settings on commitment decisions, the framework is the result of an inferential abductive approach that merges the risk management model with empirical data collected from a 32-year longitudinal case study on nine Swedish MNCs. The longitudinal analysis shows that when environmental changes are perceived as detrimental, firms tend to decrease their tangible assets and commit in a more intangible way. On the opposite, when changes to the environment are perceived as beneficial, firms follow an incremental path of commitment, preferably in tangible kind. The findings contribute new knowledge to understand such diversities in commitment decisions as divestment, wait-and-see, market-exit and re-entry.

National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196202 (URN)10.1016/j.jwb.2013.07.003 (DOI)000338613100005 ()
Available from: 2013-03-05 Created: 2013-03-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Complexity and interdependency in firm's internationalisation: when the state becomes the partner
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Complexity and interdependency in firm's internationalisation: when the state becomes the partner
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Business Environment, Vol. 2, no 4, 485-504 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196205 (URN)
Available from: 2013-03-05 Created: 2013-03-05 Last updated: 2013-12-02
4. The Control of Foreign Operations: Is it strategic, economic or politically driven?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Control of Foreign Operations: Is it strategic, economic or politically driven?
(English)In: Journal of International Business Studies, ISSN 0047-2506, E-ISSN 1478-6990Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-196203 (URN)
Available from: 2013-03-05 Created: 2013-03-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06

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