International network management for the purpose of host market expansion: The mediating effect of co-innovation in the networks of SMEs
2014 (English)In: Journal of International Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1570-7385, E-ISSN 1573-7349, Vol. 12, no 2, 162-182 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research shows that innovation facilitates internationalization and that the customer network is an important source of technical and market knowledge. Yet, little is known about how co-innovation within a business relationship with a key international customer relates to international network management and international growth beyond the focal business relationship. The paper contributes to international entrepreneurship research by investigating (1) international business relationship learning mechanisms that reinforce co-innovation within a dyadic business relationship with a key customer (2) and the link between co-innovation outcome in the business relationship and international network management for purposes of foreign market expansion beyond the dyadic business relationship. Three hypotheses were developed and tested on a sample of 188 internationalizing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) using linear structural relations (LISREL) structural equation modeling. The analysis shows that an SME’s (i) awareness of a customer’s complementary knowledge and (ii) innovation-oriented customer relationships leads to increased co-innovation within a dyadic business relationship with a key customer. Moreover, successful co-innovation with a key customer increases the likelihood that the focal SME will attempt at international network management by drawing on the key customer as a bridge to new customers and suppliers on the foreign host market. The findings provide a link between innovation within a dyadic business relationship and international network management for the purpose of foreign market expansion into the wider network on the host market. The findings hence contribute to our understanding of the mediating role of co-innovation in the internationalization process of SMEs.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 12, no 2, 162-182 p.
Co-innovation; International network management; International entrepreneurship; Internationalizing SMEs; Strategic entrepreneurship
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29545DOI: 10.1007/s10843-014-0129-1ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84905104624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-29545DiVA: diva2:908137