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The Role of the Founding Team and its Network Ties During Different Phases of the Early Internationalization Journey

Laurell, Marie Hélène, Achtenhagen, Leona, Andersson, Svante

Conference paper (Refereegranskat)


The importance of different types (i.e. both social and economic) of networks for the internationalization of new ventures is increasingly acknowledged in academic research (e.g. Coviello, 2006). Despite this increasing attention, few studies have in detail studied the role of networks and the link between networks and internationalization journeys over time (cf. Slotte-KockandCoviello, 2010). Instead, a rather descriptive, snap-shot approach to studying networks is still common. In addition, network dynamics are likely to be different in different industries. For life-science industries such as medical-technology Stremersch and Van Dyck (2009) demand that due to the specific industry characteristics new concepts would be needed to adequately understand the dynamics of this industry. 

In this paper, we attempt to contribute to filling gaps in current research by reconstructing the emergence and following the development of the network ties of an international new venture during different critical epochs of its internationalization journey. We present an in-depth case study of a Swedish SME from the medical-technology industry and the development of its network relations over time. By providing a detailed account of this development, we hope to improve the understanding of how different network constellations are related to the internationalization process over time.

Cite: Laurell, Helene, Achtenhagen, Leona, Andersson, Svante & Laurell, Marie Hélène, ‘The role of the founding team and its network ties during different phases of the early internationalization journey’, McGill Conference on International Entrepreneurship., 2010