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The development of a high‐tech international new venture as a process of acting: A study of the lifespan of a venture in software business

Tuija Mainela (Department of International Business, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Elina Pernu (Department of Marketing, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Vesa Puhakka (Department of Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to analyze the development of high‐tech international new ventures as an acting process by individuals in relationship networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The study cross‐fertilizes research on internationalization of international new ventures, opportunity development of entrepreneurs and innovation development in technology‐based firms. A longitudinal case study on the development process of an international new venture operating in the software business is used as a base for analytical generalization and theory development.

Findings

The study illustrates events at three intertwined levels of acting on the development of an international new venture. It defines internal problem solving, external solution creation, opportunity selling and opportunity organizing as the behaviors driving the emergent, multi‐level process and embedding the venture in various networks.

Research limitations/implications

Statistical generalization based on common patterns experienced by several firms was not sought in this study. Using the process research approach with event‐based analysis, the study, however, provides an in‐depth analysis of international new venture development through the actions of individuals at the level of key events. The methods for examining a complex development process over time can be utilized by other process researchers.

Practical implications

The complexity of building high‐tech international new ventures is, to a great extent, due to the necessity of handling the process at three levels simultaneously and in connection with one another. Since international new ventures are often based on business opportunities that have a short window of opportunity, the timeline creates further challenges. Embedding the business into various resourcing, legitimizing and otherwise assisting networks is crucial.

Originality/value

The study provides an insight into the ways of acting in networks that intertwines the internationalization, opportunity and technology development with development of a high‐tech international new venture. The study follows the development process in real time, something that is quite rare in previous international entrepreneurship research.

Keywords

Citation

Mainela, T., Pernu, E. and Puhakka, V. (2011), "The development of a high‐tech international new venture as a process of acting: A study of the lifespan of a venture in software business", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 430-456. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626001111155655

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited