Hogeschool van Amsterdam

Centre for Applied Research on Business and Economics

When your world is an island

social networks and decision-making in international entrepreneurship


Social network and decision-making approaches became dominant ways to study born global firms. Network approaches explain internationalization of born global firms in terms of the connections established and utilized by the born global firms. Decision-making approaches explain the determinants of the decision logic associated with the use of social networks.

A prominent theory used in this endeavour is the effectuation. Research applying this view to the study of the logic associated with the use of social networks in the internationalization show conflicting empirical results. Towards that end, through multiple cases, we study how effectuation and causation influence the process of becoming born global firms. Applying a ‘small world networks’ lens, we advance two contributions.

First, we suggest that born global firms are not only a matter of social networks, but the embeddedness of the entrepreneurs in the networks are vital to the logic used and the chosen paths for internationalization. Embedded entrepreneurs use effectuation to bridge networks and circumvent resource scarcity, whereas entrepreneurs that are not embedded use causation and become born global firms.

Secondly, we contribute to the effectuation literature by advancing the thought that the embeddedness is a boundary condition of effectuation.

Referentie Wakkee, I. A. M., Martina, R. A., & Mauer, R. (Accepted/In press). When your world is an island: social networks and decision-making in international entrepreneurship. Paper presented at 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting , Boston, United States.
Gepubliceerd door  CAREM 1 januari 2019