The temporal effects of social and business networks on international performance of South Korean SMEs

So Won Jeong (Department of Clothing & Textiles, College of Human Ecology, Pusan National University, Busan, The Republic of Korea)
Byoungho Ellie Jin (Department of Textiles and Apparel, Technology and Management, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA) (Department of Clothing & Textiles, College of Human Ecology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)
Sojin Jung (Department of Clothing & Textiles, College of Human Ecology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, The Republic of Korea)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Publication date: 9 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the resource-based view, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the link between resource capabilities and performance by incorporating two network dimensions (i.e. social and business networks), a moderator (i.e. international experience) and a mediator (i.e. marketing capabilities).

Design/methodology/approach

SME data were collected via surveys. A sampling frame of 3,000 exporting manufactures was developed based on a database sourced from the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The authors first contacted the managers of each firm in the sampling frame through e-mail or phone to receive permission, and then sent a paper questionnaire. The authors analyzed 392 valid cases using a path analysis.

Findings

The findings largely confirmed the hypotheses in the proposed framework based on the RBV. While social networks only enhanced marketing capabilities and did not directly lead to international performance, business networks enhanced both. Also, unlike social networks, the influence of SME business networks on international performance was weakened as international experience increased. This study found that marketing capabilities mediated the path from business networks to international performance.

Research limitations/implications

The study explained the distinctive roles played by social and business networks in international performance, extending our knowledge of the RBV by showing how firm resources can turn into sustainable competitive advantages. More importantly, the integration of time into the discussion on networks and international performance extended the business network internationalization process model.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that Korean SMEs focus on developing their own marketing capabilities by capitalizing on their social and business networks, which could directly enhance international performance. Governments can also offer assistance to SMEs for developing their own marketing capabilities during the initial stages of internationalization, since the benefit of business networks diminishes as international experience increases.

Originality/value

By testing the proposed link between resource capabilities and performance, this study suggested how SME networks can contribute to international performance, extending our understanding of RBV. This study further confirmed the dynamic impact of business networks on international performance, such that it changes over the course of the internationalization process.

Keywords

Citation

Jeong, S., Jin, B. and Jung, S. (2019), "The temporal effects of social and business networks on international performance of South Korean SMEs", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 1042-1057. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-08-2018-0326

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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