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«Beate Cesinger ISBN/EAN: 978-94-91870-00-2 Context and Complexity of International Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research Context en de complexiteit ...»

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Context and Complexity

of International Entrepreneurship

as a Field of Research

Beate Cesinger

ISBN/EAN: 978-94-91870-00-2

Context and Complexity of

International Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research

Context en de complexiteit van

International Entrepreneurship als onderzoeksdomein

(met een samenvatting in het Nederlands)


ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor

aan de Universiteit Utrecht

op gezag van de rector magnificus,

prof. dr. G. J. van der Zwaan,

ingevolge het besluit van het college voor promoties in het openbaar te verdedigen op vrijdag 11 oktober 2013 des middags te 4.15 uur door Beate Cesinger geboren op 9 januari 1973 te Augsburg, Duitsland Promotoren: Prof. dr. dr. S. Kraus Prof. dr. K. Gundolf Acknowledgements An involuntary return to the point of departure is, without doubt, the most disturbing of all journeys. (Iain Sinclair) This quote may best describe my personal experiences completing a doctoral dissertation.

As on any journey we meet people who are supportive, grant us a laugh, give us shelter or travel with us along the way. This dissertation is dedicated to all – inside and outside the academic world – who travelled with me on my doctoral journey because without their support and advice completing this work would not have been possible.

First and foremost, I am indebted to my first supervisor Prof. Dr. Dr. Sascha Kraus, whom I met at the involuntary return to the point of departure. Sascha’s suggestions, ideas, and encouragement as a supervisor and co-author account for a big part of this work.

Furthermore, I am grateful for having shared our views on life and your trust in me.

I am also thankful to Prof. Dr. Katherine Gundolf, my second supervisor who gave me her full support and the necessary freedom in the final phase of this doctoral dissertation.

Equal thanks go to all co-authors in the publications included in the present doctoral dissertation: Prof. Dr. Ricarda Bouncken (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Adriana Danko (University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Matthias Fink (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria), Viktor Fredrich (University of Bayreuth, Germany), Claudius Habisreutinger (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Dr.

Sascha Kraus (University of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein), and Prof. Dr. Tage Madsen (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark). Collaborations with experts from different academic disciplines and countries enriched my insights on multiple aspects of International Entrepreneurship. In addition, thanks to all working as a team pursuing a common goal despite constraints of time and individual resources.

Finally, I would also like to thank the members of the reading committee: Prof. Dr. Arie Buijs (Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Matthias Fink (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria), Prof. Dr. Rainer Harms (Universiteit Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands), Prof. Dr. Frank Janssen (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), and Prof. Dr. Erik Stam (Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands). Your profound knowledge of the field of International Entrepreneurship provided me with valuable comments which I gave me the opportunity to direct my attention to overlooked details and to improve the present thesis.

Last but not least: I am indebted to my parents, my aunt Monika, and my uncle Peter, Rod, and Max who have supported me not only along this way but for all my life. Although Opa and Oma are not among us anymore I would like to thank them for the boundless love which they had given me. My gratitude goes to all of you. You as a family are the essence of my life.

–  –  –


Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical Background, Objective, and Methodology of the Present Doctoral Dissertation

2.1 International Entrepreneurship as a Field of Study

2.1.1 The Research Sub-Domains of International Entrepreneurship

2.1.2 Objective One of the Present Doctoral Dissertation: Mapping the Complexity of International Entrepreneurship

2.2 Context Matters

2.2.1 Defining Context and Contextualization

2.2.2 A Call for Contextualized Research

2.2.3 Context in International Entrepreneurship

2.2.4 Contextualized Research in International Entrepreneurship

2.2.5 Objective Two of the Present Doctoral Dissertation: Contextualizing Research in International Entrepreneurship

2.3 Empirical Approach and Individual Studies

2.3.1 Born Globals: (Almost) 20 Years of Research and Still Not ‘Grown Up’?............ 30 2.3.2 Opening the Black Box: A Comparative Case Study on International Prospectors

2.3.3 The Pre-Export Model - Prospects for Research on Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures?

2.3.4 The Alchemy of Family Enterprises’ Internationalization: Dexterous Movers or Prodigal Laggards?

2.3.5 Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures: How Definitions can Bridge the Gap across Contexts

III 2.3.6 The Role of Entrepreneurial Risks in the Intercultural Context: A Study of MBA Students in Four Nations

2.4 Methodology

3 Born Globals: (Almost) 20 Years of Research and Still Not ‘Grown Up’?...... 39

3.1 Introduction

3.2 International Entrepreneurship and Born Globals

3.3 Method

3.4 A Comprehensive Literature Review of the Born Global Phenomenon................. 46 3.4.1 Terminology in Empirical Studies

3.4.2 Age of Firms

3.4.3 Speed and Intensity of Internationalization among Born Globals

3.4.4 Scope of Internationalization among Born Globals

3.5 Shortcomings of Existing Born Global Research

3.5.1 Firm Age

3.5.2 Speed and Intensity

3.5.3 Scope of International Activities

3.6 Suggestion for Further Research and Concluding Remarks

3.6.1 Limitations of the Present Literature Review

4 Opening the Black Box: A Comparative Case Study on International Prospectors

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Research on International New Ventures

4.2.1 Drivers and Prerequisites for Early International Activity

4.2.2 International New Ventures – More than Just Exporters

4.2.3 Research Focus of the Present Study

4.2.4 Towards a Working Definition of International Prospectors

4.3 Empirical Design

4.3.1 Methodological Approach

4.3.2 Geographical Focus of Our Sample

4.3.3 Selection of Case Ventures

4.3.4 Data Collection and Data Analysis

4.4 Case Study Results on International Prospectors

IV 4.4.1 A First Impression of International Prospectors

4.4.2 Where and How International Opportunities were Discovered

4.4.3 International Prospectors – Entrepreneurs with Intimate Country-Specific Knowledge

4.4.4 Starting as a Solo

4.4.5 From International Prospectors to Multinational Traders

4.5 International Prospectors in the Light of Current Research in International Entrepreneurship

4.5.1 Exporting International New Ventures vs. International Prospectors

4.5.2 Speed, Intensity and Scope: International New Ventures vs. International Prospectors

4.6 Concluding Remarks

5 The Pre-Export Model - Prospects for Research on Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures?

5.1 Introduction

5.2 International Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research

5.3 The Pre-Export Model by Wiedersheim-Paul et al. (1978) and Caughey and Chetty (1994) in the Light of Current Research on Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures

5.4 The Pre-Export Model’s Value for Research on Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures

6 The Alchemy of Family Enterprises’ Internationalization: Dexterous Movers or Prodigal Laggards?

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Theoretical Background

6.2.1 Traditional Models of Internationalization, Psychic and Cultural Distance............ 94 6.2.2 International Entrepreneurship and the Speed of Internationalization

6.2.3 Family Firms and Their Course of Internationalization

6.3 Development of Hypotheses

6.4 Method and Results

6.4.1 Sample and Instrument

6.4.2 Measurement

V 6.4.3 Results

6.5 Conclusion

6.5.1 Discussion of Our Results

6.5.2 Contributions to the International Entrepreneurship Literature

6.5.3 Concluding Remarks

7 Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures: How Definitions can Bridge the Gap across Contexts

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Theoretical Background

7.2.1 The Three Core Characteristics of the Phenomenon

7.2.2 Contextual Embeddedness of the Phenomenon

7.3 Methodology

7.3.1 Theory-Informed Literature Review on Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures...... 121 7.3.2 Empirical Survey among Researchers of Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures.... 124

7.4 Results: Comparing Operational Definitions Used in Studies from the U.S.

and EU

7.4.1 Speed of Internationalization

7.4.2 Degree of Internationalization

7.4.3 Scope of Internationalization

7.5 Towards an Integrative Approach in Defining Rapidly Internationalizing Ventures

7.5.1 Contextualized Definitions

7.5.2 The Concept of Definitional Corridors

7.6 Conclusion and Implications

8 The Role of Entrepreneurial Risks in the Intercultural Context:

A Study of MBA Students in Four Nations

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Theory

8.2.1 International Entrepreneurship

8.2.2 Entrepreneurial Intention

8.2.3 National Culture, Entrepreneurial Intention and Entrepreneurial Behavior.......... 149 8.2.4 Perception of Risk

VI 8.3 Development of Hypotheses

8.3.1 Effects of Power Distance on Entrepreneurial Intention

8.3.2 Effects of Individualism on Founding Intents

8.3.3 Risks and the Founding Intention

8.3.4 Moderating Effects by Risks

8.4 Methodology

8.4.1 Data

8.4.2 Measures

8.4.3 Measurement Model

8.5 Results

8.5.1 Description of the Data

8.5.2 Results of the Hypotheses Testing

8.6 Discussion and Conclusion

9 A Contextualized View on International Entrepreneurship

9.1 Discussion of the Results

9.1.1 Contextualization in the Entrepreneurial Internationalization Studies.................. 181 9.1.2 Context in Comparative Entrepreneurial Internationalization

9.1.3 Context in the Cross Culture Study

9.2 Theoretical Implications and Suggestions for Future Research

9.3 Limitations and Concluding Remarks




–  –  –

Table 1: Objectives, Title, Methodology, and Chapter Information of the Individual Studies

Table 2: Sampling of Papers Included in the Review

Table 3: Operationalizing Definitions in Reviewed Studies

Table 4: Age of Firms Reviewed

Table 5: Composite Internationalization Indices

Table 6: Case Studies on International New Ventures

Table 7: Sample Composition

Table 8: Measurement Models

Table 9: Hypotheses Results

Table 10: Geographical Clusters and Number of Papers Identified

Table 11: Operationalizing Definitions in U.S. Studies

Table 12: Operationalizing Definitions in European Studies

Table 13: Operationalizing Definitions in EU/U.S. Comparative Studies

Table 14: Findings from the Empirical Survey among International Entrepreneurship Researchers

Table 15: Local Fit

Table 16: Gender

Table 17: Background Information

Table 18: Means of Power Distance and Results of ANOVA

Table 19: Means of the Individualism and Results of ANOVA

Table 20: Correlations of the Cultural Values in Total and for Each Nationality............... 165 Table 21: Effects of Control Variables on the Founding Intentions

Table 22: Selection of Control Variables and Their Effects

Table 23: Path Coefficients

Table 24: Risks Related to Power Distance and Founding Intents

Table 25: Risks Related to Individualism and Founding Intents

Table 26: Appendix State of the Art: Studies Comparing International Entrepreneurship Behavior and Entrepreneurial Intention (chronologically ordered)

VIIIList of Figures

Figure 1: Domain specific Research Gaps and Respective Research Focus of the Present Thesis

Figure 2: Context Dimensions – the Diamond

Figure 3: Factors Affecting Pre-Export Activities of the Firm

Figure 4: Research Model

Figure 5: Results of Hypothesis 4

Figure 6: Results of Hypothesis 6

Figure 7: Theory Informed Literature Search

Figure 8: Model

Figure 9: The Context Diamond and Its Dimensions in International Entrepreneurship.... 185

IXX1 Introduction

Multinational enterprises, large and well established firms, have traditionally been the dominant players in globalization because of their size and experience (e.g. Caves, 1971;

Chandler, 1990; Mathews and Zander, 2007). In the last decades, this traditional demarcation of international firms has begun to fade. Small and medium-sized enterprises have become increasingly involved in global trade and foreign direct investment (e.g., Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1997; EIM Business & Policy Research, 2010); i.e. firm size and age are not any longer prerequisites for doing business on an international scale (e.g. Mathews and Zander, 2007; Gabrielsson et al., 2008).

Globalization, i.e. macro-economic changes over the last three decades enhanced the international market entry of small and medium enterprises: the worldwide diminution of formal trade barriers on industrial goods (compared to agricultural goods) under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization (Ohmae, 1995; Adams, 2008) has facilitated global exchange in goods, services, labor, and capital.

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