What drives superior performance when large firms internationalize?

Dennis Khoo

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] The thesis topic relates to the impact of the degree of firm internationalization on firm performance, and attempts to answer the question - What drives superior performance when firms internationalize? This is the “one big question” in internationalization and performance (I&P) studies that researchers have been trying to answer (Bowen & Rugman 2007, p. 115). This thesis not only answers this call, but provides a unique contribution to theory and methodology in this field, and the results provide new findings and knowledge that allow both academicians and practitioners alike to view the I&P relationship in a different light. I&P is an area within international business studies that has been intensely researched and over 100 empirical studies have been undertaken in the area of internationalization and performance (I&P) in the past ten years but a robust theoretical framework and conclusive empirical substantiation of the framework has eluded researchers, as results have been varied and inconclusive (Hennart 2007; Ruigrok, Amann & Wagner 2007; Sung, Bell & Xiaohong 2008; Bowen & Rugman 2007; Li 2007; Verbeke & Brugman 2009). This difficulty makes the contributions of this thesis even more substantive. The substantial and original contribution to theoretical knowledge that this thesis makes to international business studies is in the framing of the theoretical model between internationalization and performance. Most scholarly works have postulated that firm internationalization drives firm performance and that this relationship is moderated by firm-specific assets (FSAs) like R&D, advertising or managerial intensity. This thesis postulates a different theoretical model where R&D Intensity drives firm performance, but the degree of internationalization acts as one of the moderators of the relationship.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012


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