Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Mário Raposo, David Smallbone, Károly Balaton and Lilla Hortoványi
Chapter 7: Cross-border Cooperation between Enterprises as a Form of International Entrepreneurship
David Smallbone, Mirela Xheneti and Friederike Welter INTRODUCTION This chapter is concerned with cross-border cooperation between enterprises in EU border regions. For entrepreneurs, such cooperation can offer an opportunity to access new markets and/or sources of supply, as well as giving possible access to sources of capital, labour and/or know-how. At the same time, the nature and extent of these opportunities will vary according to factors that include the respective levels of development on the two sides of the border; the hard/soft nature of the border; the external environment for entrepreneurship; and characteristics of firms themselves. As a consequence, the nature and extent of this type of cross-border activity is affected by the heterogeneity of border regions, in terms of formal and social institutional structures, linguistics and ethnicity, all of which can influence economic processes long after the demise of formal and physical borders (Huber, 2003; Perkmann, 2005; 2003). In an EU context, this means that where the process of EU enlargement has removed formal institutional barriers to cross-border cooperation between two member states, it may take time to show any effect because of the perpetuation of informal institutional barriers. Since cross-border entrepreneurship involves firms operating across national borders, it is, by definition, a form of internationalization. The aim of this chapter is to assess the extent to which the phenomenon reflects characteristics and processes identified in the literature concerned with internationalization of firms. Firm-level internationalization has grown rapidly in recent decades, reflected in the increasing internationalization of product, labour...
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