European Research in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Alain Fayolle and Kiril Todorov
Chapter 9: The International Product Venturing of a Biotech SME: Knowledge Combination in Upstream and Downstream Networks
Daniel Tolstoy INTRODUCTION 1 In the global marketplace, where product life cycles are becoming increasingly shorter, firms need to be constantly prepared to re-assess their core activities of business. Recent studies on international small- and middlesized enterprises (SMEs) have demonstrated that the overall prosperity of these firms hinges on their performance in international product venturing (Indarti et al., 2005; Mesquita and Lazzarini 2008; Ruzzier et al., 2007). Consequently, SMEs that are able to launch new product solutions successfully in foreign markets may expect reinforced competitiveness and stimulated international growth. The concept of international product venturing is here defined as the undertakings of an existing firm to introduce a new product in a foreign market (cf. Venkataraman et al., 1992). Even though the interest in international product venturing of SMEs is rapidly increasing, we still know little about the predictors behind this phenomenon. To remedy this research deficiency, this study leans on the magnitude of related research in the field of international entrepreneurship that suggests knowledge combination to be a critical driver of business innovation (Cui et al., 2005; De Clercq et al., 2005; Gassmann and Keupp, 2007; Knight and Cavusgil, 2004; Murray and Chao, 2005; Rialp et al., 2005; Yli-Renko et al, 2001; Zahra and Filatotchev, 2004; Zhou, 2007). Because SMEs typically are resource-constrained, it is reasonable to assume that knowledge combination in these firms is not restricted to the boundaries of the firm, but also takes place in external networks. By building on this idea, the study explores how...
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