Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship

Towards a Theory of Internationalization

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten

This unique Handbook illustrates how entrepreneurs across Europe tackle internationalization. This timely and important book identifies patterns and builds a theory of international entrepreneurship in Europe.
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Chapter 35: Network Coordination as a Key to External Resources: A Study of an Internationalizing Biotech SME

Angelika Löfgren, Daniel Tolstoy, D. Deo Sharma and Jan Johanson


Angelika Löfgren, Daniel Tolstoy, D. Deo Sharma and Jan Johanson1 Introduction Sweden has the highest number of biotechnology companies per capita in the world.2 Because many of these firms need a larger market than that provided by Sweden alone, such firms must mobilize enough resources at an early stage to compete internationally. In organizational research, the resource-based viewpoint links a firm’s internal organization with its ability to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage (Penrose, 1959; Barney, 1991). Such a view focuses on firms’ internal resources and capabilities; linked with the argument that management’s primary task is to maximize an organization’s value by optimizing deployment of its resources (Grant, 1996). Much resource-based literature features knowledge as a key resource for a firm (Penrose, 1959; Johanson and Vahlne, 1977; Cohen and Levinthal, 1991; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995). The knowledge-driven Uppsala model (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977), which has gained prominence in international business (IB) research, relies on the resource-based view. This model is frequently cited and built upon (Barkema, Bell and Pennings, 1996; Eriksson, Johanson, Majkgard and Sharma, 1997; Pedersen and Petersen, 2004). Later research has shown that firms rely not only on internal resources but also on external resources. Relational research has revealed that firms’ dyadic business relationships play a crucial role when firms acquire and leverage external resources. Business relationships therefore can be regarded as resources in their own respect (Dyer and Singh, 1998). In accordance with this relational view, IB research has acknowledged the essential role of business networks in...

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