International entrepreneurial capabilities: The role of networks in the small multinational enterprise

ANDERSON, Alexandra (2018). International entrepreneurial capabilities: The role of networks in the small multinational enterprise. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Interest in entrepreneurial internationalisation, i.e. the pursuit of business opportunities across national borders through the orientation of individuals and firms towards innovativeness, risk-taking, proactiveness, autonomy and competitive aggressiveness, has increased over the past two decades. Interest in these types of behaviours has suggested that the internationalisation of firms is no longer a slow, incremental, undertaking. Thus, the field of International Entrepreneurship has broadened insights into these activities by examining firms that engage in international activities from inception, or International New Ventures (INV). This thesis aims to broaden the field of international entrepreneurship by considering these activities outside of the INV. While there is much work on the internationalisation activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs), little consideration has been given to the entrepreneurial activities of those running the firms as to how their internationalisation may occur. Drawing on parallels from the corporate entrepreneurship literature, which essentially divorces the act of entrepreneurship from the act of starting a new venture, this thesis addresses this gap. It explores how the small MNE (sMNE), with between two and five international subsidiaries, utilises international entrepreneurial capabilities and networks to drive renewal in the organisation, in order to identify opportunities, develop -international markets, acquire overseas subsidiaries, and create new products and services. To achieve this aim, a single case study approach-of a UK based engineering and services sMNE was undertaken and critical realist methodology to seek causal explanations of entrepreneurial internationalisation was applied. The findings demonstrated the entrepreneurial drive of key figureheads in the sMNE helped sustain the international entrepreneurial capabilities of the sMNE and its subsidiaries. International autonomy enabled the sMNE subsidiaries to pursue new international markets, to develop new product and service innovation, and diversify into new markets. In addition, international autonomy nurtured human capital within the sMNE subsidiaries, while human and network capital, i.e. the knowledge and ability to develop beneficial ties, enabled individuals to be alert to international opportunities and act on them accordingly.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Johnston, Andrew [0000-0001-5352-9563]
Additional Information: Director of studies/supervisor - Dr Andrew Johnston No PQ harvesting
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Louise Beirne
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 11:41
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:07

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