Social capital as resources and capabilities in small firms' international performance – evidence from UK SMEs in ASEAN

Luong, A., 2021. Social capital as resources and capabilities in small firms' international performance – evidence from UK SMEs in ASEAN. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis contributes to the international business (IB) literature by examining different effects of three social capital dimensions on the internationalisation of SMEs in psychically distant markets from the resources and capabilities perspective. I propose a conceptual model that illustrates the behavioural process in which the entrepreneurial characteristics and resources embedded in social capital create a unique capabilities package to help a firm exploit emerging opportunities and enhance its international performance in foreign markets.

The study employed a mixed research methodology, starting with longitudinal case studies of four British SMEs which to Vietnam, followed by an online survey of 157 British SMEs in the process of internationalising to ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). The study introduced two new concepts: (1) organisational network social capital which includes internal resources allocated to export activities and external resources gained from weak ties; and (2) entrepreneurial social capital which comprises proactive managerial attitudes and foreign market experience that SMEs' top management team have accumulated in foreign markets. The study found that organisational social capital and managerial proactiveness enhance overseas market exploitative capabilities, whilst trust and strategic export intention mediate the relationship between exploitative capabilities and international performance. Market experience was found to have a moderating effect on the relationship between exploitative capabilities and trust.

The study contributes to the current social capital literature from theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives: (1) it extends previous studies on internationalisation process of small firms by investigating the impact of resources and capabilities at both individual and organisational levels; (2) it disentangles different effects of each social capital dimension on dynamic capabilities and international performance in the post-entry stage; (3) it tests the evolution of commitment in different stages and highlights the trust-commitment mediation effect in the exploitative capabilities - performance link; (4) to the best of my knowledge it is the first study which applies longitudinal studies and an extended online survey in the context of the ASEAN trade bloc.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Luong, A.
Date: March 2021
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Nov 2021 14:29
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 14:29

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