How does international entrepreneurial orientation influence firms’ internationalization? An exploration with Indian software product top management teams

How does international entrepreneurial orientation influence firms’ internationalization? An exploration with Indian software product top management teams

Krishna Satyanarayana, Deepak Chandrashekar, Arun Sukumar, Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi

Journal: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

In this study, the authors explore how international entrepreneurial orientation of top management team (TMT) of software product firms influence their firms’ internationalization activities.

In the recent past, there has been an increased emphasis on understanding the impact and influence of the international entrepreneurial orientation (IEO) on various firm related phenomenon within the international entrepreneurship (IE) domain. In particular, the lack of understanding of the cognitive origins of IEO impacts the domain’s collective ability to accurately interpret internationalization outcomes. The present study fills this gap.

The study makes use of the software product industry and Indian internationalized software firms’ TMT as the setting for the study. It uses interpretive analysis techniques and examines data collected from in-depth interviews and secondary sources from 20 software product firms. The findings of the study reveal the existence of a pathway through which the international entrepreneurial orientation of the TMT influences the firm’s strategic learning functions (knowledge creation, dissemination, interpretation and implementation) which in turn influences the firm’s internationalization activities.

In the context of emerging economies and particularly that of the software product industry, the findings demonstrate that successful internationalizing firms’ TMT have institutionalized the entrepreneurial approach into their firms’ strategic learning processes which enables them and their organizations to rapidly assimilate market changes, reconfigure internal routines to exploit the external changes and quickly respond to the changed market needs.

The study contributes to new theoretical insights that link the individual entrepreneurial dimension of international entrepreneurial orientation with the strategic learning mechanisms of their firms. From this study, it has been established that the TMT’s risk-taking abilities, innovativeness and proactiveness in the context of internationalization distils into new knowledge in their organization. This distilled knowledge is later absorbed into the organizational routines and has been shown to be leveraged successfully to achieve competitive advantage on the internationalization related activities.

The study provides the microfoundations of a firm’s strategic learning capability in the context of internationalization. The process model developed based on the synthesis of the results of the study builds on the knowledge-based theory and organizational learning theory and provides the microfoundations to explain the linkage between international entrepreneurial orientation and a firm’s strategic learning in the context of internationalization.

The results of the study have important implications to practitioners, entrepreneurs, learning and development professionals involved in the internationalization aspects directly or indirectly. The study points to the need to create a strategic learning mechanism inside one’s organization to keep the organization flexible and ready to embrace any change in the external environment and emerge successfully dealing with challenges.

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