Using a Local Network to Support Internationalisation: a Case Study from New Zealand
This thesis explores how collaboration amongst a network of companies can lead to successful internationalisation. Positioned between the network and internationalisation literature, this research used a successful case study where a New Zealand company supported by a network local of companies won a $21 million export contract to supply retail payment terminals to a Malaysian oil company. The research focused on the network formation, structure and evolution over time. In addition, the roles and performance of the network were also examined. The research method focused on a successful case and involved in-depth interviews with senior management of four companies. This was coupled with network analysis based on data extracted from the interview transcripts. Capturing chronological data was made possible by using a historical approach. There are several insights worth noting that surfaced from the results. First, relationally embedded ties appear to have reinforcing network effects. For example, the case shows how relationally embedded ties influence resource acquisition. Second, in examining the evolution of the network over time, the data captured shows how a closed network formed bridges across structural holes, leading to 'structural autonomy.' The third contribution of this research is the identification and integration of internationalisation theories within the case. As such, this thesis has made a series of contributions to the area of network dynamics that supports successful internationalisation.