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. Two prominent theories used in this endeavor are the effectuation and entrepreneurial bricolage. Research applying these views 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 the causal, effectual, and entrepreneurial bricolage influence the process of becoming born global firms. Applying a ‘small world networks’ lens, we advance the 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.

Reference Martina, R., Wakkee, I., & Mauer, R. (2018). When your world is an island: social networks and decision-making in international entrepreneurship. Abstract from High Tech Small Firms Conference, Groningen, Netherlands. https://www.hva.nl/subsites/en/kc-be-carem/publications/publications-general/2018/when-your-world-is-an-island.html?origin=ruiotwDNRJqRNUDn1kmcPQ

Publication date

Jun 2018


Richard Martina
René Mauer


Research database