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Network Mechanisms in the Entry and Post-Entry Phases of Internationalisation: Evidence from Finnish Family Firms

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  • Tanja Leppäaho
  • Sarah Jack
  • Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/10/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>British Journal of Management
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In this study we posed the questions (i) What network mechanisms do family firms (FFs) use in their entry and post-entry? (ii) How do they use these network mechanisms? (iii) Why do they use these mechanisms? We based our study on social network theory, and on two opposing network mechanisms, network closure and structural holes, referring also to research on FFs and international networking. Applying a multiple case design with 15 Finnish FFs, we identified four types of FFs – trotter, preserver, explorer, and conqueror – based on how they used their network mechanisms at entry and post entry. We offer a new mechanism that we label network termination, and explain the heterogeneous networking behaviour of the investigated cases. During post entry, bifurcation-biased FFs used network mechanisms differently from FFs that were able to rely on non-family relational assets. The study contributes to social network theory, and sheds light on FF heterogeneity in the context of international networking.