Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe
Chapter 11: India
Shameen Prashantham Introduction Internationalization among small and new firms, notably in knowledge-intensive sectors, can be remarkably rapid (Oviatt and McDougall, 2005). This phenomenon is often driven by three factors: knowledge, intent and networks. These factors operate at the level of both the firm and the individual entrepreneur. However, international entrepreneurship can be hampered by macroeconomic disincentives or a hostile environment (Zahra, 2005). This often tends to be the case in emerging economies such as India (Dana, 2000). The global success of the Indian software industry therefore acquires significance as an exception and exemplar which has symbolized India’s rise as an economic power. This chapter explores some findings about international entrepreneurship in India with special reference to the software industry. Key influences A synthesis of the literature on international entrepreneurship suggests that three interdependent factors, often embodied by the entrepreneur himself or herself (at least initially), play an important role in the internationalization of small and new entrepreneurial firms: knowledge, intent and networks. First, the importance of market and technological knowledge in driving international entrepreneurship is well documented in the literature (Jones and Coviello, 2005). Innovation is a key goal for small entrepreneurial firms and knowledge is the chief preoccupation of knowledge-intensive firms (Hitt et al., 2001). Domains of specialized knowledge of the entrepreneur often determine the firm’s main offerings and therefore the prior experience (including education) of the entrepreneur is crucial, and may have a bearing on his or her strategic and international orientation, innovativeness and network relationships (Ibeh and...
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