Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This unique reference book provides an array of diverse perspectives on international entrepreneurship, a new and emerging field of research that blends concepts and methodologies from more traditional social sciences. The Handbook includes chapters written by top researchers of economics and sociology, as well as academic leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and international business. State-of-the-art contributions provide up-to-date literature reviews, making this book essential for the researcher of entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of entrepreneurs.
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Chapter 28: Japanese Perspectives of International Entrepreneurship

Paul W. Beamish and Jane W. Lu


Paul W. Beamish and Jane W. Lu Japanese small and medium sized firms (SMEs) are internationalizing at an accelerating rate.* Using a longitudinal dataset, this research provides a comprehensive analysis of this phenomenon in terms of Japanese SMEs’ foreign direct investments (FDIs), a most entrepreneurial form of internationalization. The analysis in this research answers questions concerning how Japanese SMEs have made foreign direct investment in terms of the timing of entry, and of the sectors and locations of these investments. The analysis also explores the differences in subsidiary characteristics across sectors and regions, and it links these differences in characteristics to the performance of Japanese SMEs’ international subsidiaries. Japanese SMEs’ joint ventures outperformed their wholly-owned subsidiaries, while subsidiary performance is positively correlated with subsidiary age and investment size but negatively correlated with the level of Japanese control. With the decline in trade barriers and the advance in technology, SMEs are playing an increasingly important role in international markets (Oviatt and McDougall, 1994, 1999). As a consequence of this surge, the internationalization of SMEs began to attract greater levels of attention in both the entrepreneurship literature and the international business literature. This increased attention led to the birth of a new academic field: international entrepreneurship, which is at the intersection of the two literatures (McDougall and Oviatt, 2000). Within this new yet fast-growing field, studies have looked at the internationalization of SMEs from a variety of countries. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is little systematic investigation...

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