Investigating "born globals" in South Korea : their antecedents and performance
Thesis or dissertation
- © 2010 Taekyung Park. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Growing attention has been paid to Born Globals, which are small and medium sized firms (SMEs) that internationalise shortly after establishment. There has been a considerable volume of research on Born Global firms, but thus far there has been little research on early internationalising SMEs in the context of Asian economies such as South Korea. Moreover, there has been limited investigation, using large scale surveys, on the associations between key factors such as the international business experience of managers and the use of networks that are said to underpin the ability of SMEs to undertake international activities. To help to fill these gaps, this thesis examines the major economic and business characteristics of Born Globals in South Korea. The findings show that public policy is directed to SME internationalisation activities, but focuses on support only for export promotion. It is also found that South Korean Born Globals have a number of network relationships with customers and suppliers but have relatively few connections with government agencies. This research also investigates the associations between the international business experience of managers and the use of networks and the subsequent effect on the capacity of Born Globals to perform well in international markets. A conceptual framework is constructed which postulates a series of interactions between the international business experience of managers and the use of networks and the subsequent effect on the foreign performance of early internationalising SMEs. The model is used to derive hypotheses on how the interrelationships between the international business experience of managers and the use of networks lead to changes in the capacity of firms to perform in international markets. Hypotheses are also developed regarding the links between the capacity of firms to perform in international markets and three performance measures: satisfaction with foreign market growth, the share of sales from international activities and the number of foreign markets supplied. These hypotheses are tested using data from a survey of early internationalising South Korean SMEs. The results provide evidence on the existence and extent of the interconnections between the international business experience of managers and the use of networks and the directions of these relationships. Evidence is also provided on the links to foreign performance capacity and to performance in three areas. The results of this research indicate that the relationships postulated in the hypotheses are all significant thereby providing support for the model. The implications of the findings for theory, managerial issues and public policy are also considered.
- The Business School, The University of Hull
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