Hi everyone

One of our ie-scholars members has asked for some comments on social capital research in IE. I’ll offer some comments here, but welcome all of you to add your own input! Please and thank you 🙂

For me, research on social capital is linked to that on networks. Indeed, one of the earlier topics to emerge in IE research was a focus on the role of networks in the internationalization of INVs. Some examples include Bell (1995, European Journal of Marketing) as well as Coviello and Munro (1995, European Journal of Marketing) and (1997, International Business Review). I think both Jim and I were lucky enough to stumble onto the emerging network literature as we were working on our PhDs and I am very grateful for that!

Since then, network research has continued to be a major topic of interest in IE research, with some of the more recent publications coming from (e.g.) Danis, de Clercq and Petricevic (2011, International Business Review) and Tolstoy (Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 2010). Over the years, many of the network studies have focused on software firms in developed markets but now, we are seeing a shift to explorations of the role of networks in emerging market economies and importantly, researchers are also moving beyond the software context.

IE research specific to social capital is more recent and in my view, is evidence that we are moving to a more sophisticated understanding of the impact of networks. I think the earliest IE paper in this area was by Yli-Renko, Autio and Tontti (2002, IBR) and others include Han (2006, Journal of International Entrepreneurship), Prashantham and Dhanaraj (2010, Journal of Management Studies), and Evald et al. (2011, Journal of International Entrepreneurship).

Further examples of both the network and social capital research in IE can be found in the review by Jones et al. (2011) and by searching through the 2010-2012 database of IE publications that can be found in the ‘Bibliographies’ section under the Research tab.

I expect to see ongoing IE interest in both networks and social capital, and would encourage you to be intimately familiar with Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998)’s paper in AMR: “Social Capital, Intellectual Capital and the Organizational Advantage.” In addition, look outside the IE, IB and Entrepreneurship literature for insight – research on networks and social capital is everywhere! In case you are interested, I am attaching the outline for my PhD seminar on this topic from 2012: Coviello – Networks and Social Capital Seminar 2012

Best wishes,Nicole


6 Responses

  1. Thanks Nicole,

    This is very useful. I think you summarized the key literature. In case someone wants to dig a bit deeper, I add some articles, which may be relevant for the IE scholars interested in social capital:

    Social capital in relation to the foreign market entry and post-entry operations of family SMEs http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10843-010-0072-8

    Social ties and international entrepreneurship: Opportunities and constraints affecting firm internationalization http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/journal/v42/n1/abs/jibs201020a.html

    How Smaller Born-Global Firms Use Networks and Alliances to Overcome Constraints to Rapid Internationalization http://www.journals.marketingpower.com/doi/abs/10.1509/jimk.14.3.33

    Network embeddedness and new-venture internationalization: Analyzing international linkages in the German biotech industry http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0883902607000596

    The role of social networks and institutions in the internationalization of Russian entrepreneurial firms: Do they matter? http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10843-012-0091-8

    Social networks and speed of new venture internationalization during institutional transition: A conceptual model http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10843-010-0051-0

    The Influence of networking on the internationalization of SMEs: Evidence from internationalized Chinese firms http://isb.sagepub.com/cgi/doi/10.1177/0266242610369748

    Country institutional context, social networks, and new venture internationalization speed http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0263237308001047

    Turning social capital into business: A study of the internationalization of biotech SMEs http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0969593111000035

    International new ventures and social networks: Advantage or liability? http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0263237308001126

    Internationalization and the performance of born-global SMEs: The mediating role of social networks http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/journal/v38/n4/abs/8400282a.html

    The influence of international networks on internationalization speed and performance: A study of Czech SMEs http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1090951609001138

    1. Valterri, thanks for this list.

      Everyone, most of these papers are found either in the review from Jones et al (2011) or the 2010-2012 literature database on this site.

      However, three were missing and so thanks to Valterri for highlighting them for us:

      1. Turning Social Capital into Business:… (Lindstrand et al 2011)
      2. The Influence of International Networks on Internationalization Speed… (Musteen et al 2010)
      3. The Influence of Networking on the Internationalization of SMEs… (Tang 2011)

      All three papers should be in the IE list of literature because although one might argue that the emphasis of each is on SME internationalization and there is a relative lack of entrepreneurship literature in them…an important part of each study is the focus on rapid internationalization (a behaviour central to IE). I will add these to the database and post an updated list for you.

      Thanks again, Nicole

      1. hello nicole, would you be so kind and tell me where i can find

        (“the Further examples of both the network and social capital research in IE can be found in the review by Jones et al. (2011)”)

        you mentioned in your first post.

        thanks a lot

        1. Hi Rudolf
          The Jones et al. 2011 paper is found in the Journal of Business Venturing. I am not able to post it to the site due to copyright issues, but expect you can access this journal through your library.
          Best wishes,

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