Explaining Export Performance: A Comparative Study of International New Ventures in Finnish and Indian Software Industry
Published on Jan 1, 2005
· DOI :10.1016/S1074-7540(05)08003-7
In explaining international expansion and performance, the traditional explanation in international business literature has mainly offered country, and firm-level structural explanations for performance. Moreover, this literature has been biased toward larger, established multinational manufacturing companies (Dunning, 1958; Hymer, 1960; Aharoni, 1966; Vernon, 1966). This was understandable as, for much of the 20th century, manufacturing occupied the dominant share of the economy. However, by the early 1960s, the service sector already accounted for more than half of the domestic economic activity in developed nations. Today, even in international operations, the share of services is rapidly increasing. For example, the share of services in U.S. exports in 1997 had grown to 27%, and to 16% in U.S. imports (Contractor, 1999). Moreover, in sectors such as information technology, telecommunications or biotechnology, recent years have seen a proliferation of entrepreneurial start-up companies, where the characteristics of their founders and leaders appear to have as much, or greater, impact on performance, as traditional firm-level explanations. Since the late 1980s, the growth of venture capital markets and rise in entrepreneurship have been observed in technology-driven industries (The Economist, 1993; Gupta, 1989; Mamis, 1989). Could entrepreneurial and leadership factors assume greater importance in explaining performance, especially international performance, of younger companies in such sectors? This is the broad hypothesis pursued in this study.