Edited by Sarianna M. Lundan
Chapter 11: Exploring inward-outward linkages in firms' internationalization: a knowledge and network perspective
Chapter 11 21/6/02 11:17 AM Page 1 11. Exploring inward-outward linkages in firms’ internationalization: a knowledge and network perspective Lawrence S. Welch, Gabriel R.G. Benito, Pål R. Silseth and Tore Karlsen INTRODUCTION Despite the fact that research on the process of internationalization began three decades ago in the Nordic countries (Johanson and Wiedersheim-Paul, 1975; Luostarinen, 1970), there has been surprisingly limited development of a robust explanation of the dynamics of internationalization in the intervening years. While knowledge was argued to be a key factor in explaining internationalization in early conceptualizations of the process - based on empirical research regarding patterns of international expansion by companies in a number of countries - it has proven difficult to translate the broader work on knowledge into an internationalization context. For example, experiential knowledge, following Penrose’s (1959) depiction, was stressed in the early work as an important factor in constraining the rate at which foreign expansion might proceed (Aharoni, 1966). The 1990s saw considerable work on the concept of the knowledge-based organization and a range of related aspects such as tacit knowledge (similar to experiential knowledge), but as yet this has not been incorporated into the understanding of internationalization (Welch, 2000). Many questions remain as to how, and through whom, relevant information enters the firm, is transferred within, and becomes available in a form that managers know about and are able to use in order to take action in the international arena (Benito and Welch, 1994a; Lord and Ranft, 2000; Welch, 2000)...
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