Business networks and internationalisation of contractors from developing countries An explorative study

Business networks and internationalisation of contractors from developing countries An... Purpose – Increasingly, construction companies from developing countries are succeeding in finding a space in the international market. Their progression deserves academic attention. Using Network Theory, this paper seeks to examine the role and extent of business networks in aiding contractors from Malaysia, as one such developing country, to penetrate foreign markets. Design/methodology/approach – The research adopted the mixed method approach. A postal questionnaire survey, complemented with desk research and interviews, was used to collect data. Findings – The findings show that in fact business networks can account for much of the surveyed contractors' overseas achievements, in terms of markets they entered, overseas projects they secured and market presence mode they adopted, although, without their competitive assets, the networks would have been meaningless. Research limitations/implications – A limitation was the small sample population, which is compensated by interviews to validate the inferences. Practical implications – Contractors from developing countries should fully cultivate, nurture, exploit and reconfigure their business networks in order to make their impact internationally. Originality/value – The paper has provided insight into the power of business networks in configuring competitiveness of contractors from a developing country in the international arena. The paper also draws attention to the limitations of the Network Perspective by highlighting the inseparability of the firms' own competitive strengths and business networks in explaining overseas success, and the dynamics of business networks as the contractors continuously reposition their competitive positions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management Emerald Publishing

Business networks and internationalisation of contractors from developing countries An explorative study

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0969-9988
DOI
10.1108/09699981111126188
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Increasingly, construction companies from developing countries are succeeding in finding a space in the international market. Their progression deserves academic attention. Using Network Theory, this paper seeks to examine the role and extent of business networks in aiding contractors from Malaysia, as one such developing country, to penetrate foreign markets. Design/methodology/approach – The research adopted the mixed method approach. A postal questionnaire survey, complemented with desk research and interviews, was used to collect data. Findings – The findings show that in fact business networks can account for much of the surveyed contractors' overseas achievements, in terms of markets they entered, overseas projects they secured and market presence mode they adopted, although, without their competitive assets, the networks would have been meaningless. Research limitations/implications – A limitation was the small sample population, which is compensated by interviews to validate the inferences. Practical implications – Contractors from developing countries should fully cultivate, nurture, exploit and reconfigure their business networks in order to make their impact internationally. Originality/value – The paper has provided insight into the power of business networks in configuring competitiveness of contractors from a developing country in the international arena. The paper also draws attention to the limitations of the Network Perspective by highlighting the inseparability of the firms' own competitive strengths and business networks in explaining overseas success, and the dynamics of business networks as the contractors continuously reposition their competitive positions.

Journal

Engineering, Construction and Architectural ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 3, 2011

Keywords: Business links; International business; Construction industry; Developing countries

References

  • FDI and growth: what causes what?
    Chowdhury, A.; Mavrotas, G.
  • Globalization, new ecologies, new zoologies, and the purported death of the eclectic paradigm
    Narula, R.
  • Small firms' internationalization for development in Tanzania: exploring the network phenomenon
    Rutahobya, L.; Jaensson, J.E.
  • Malaysia's industrial enclaves: benefits and costs
    Warr, P.G.

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