Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Strategic Management

Committee Director

Anil Nair

Committee Member

Jing Zhang

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


Despite a growing body of research on venture capital firms, the process by which venture capital firms invest across borders remains unclear. This three-essay dissertation integrates the literature on venture capital firms, social network theory, and international alliances to examine following research questions: 1) How do network characteristics (i.e., structure and composition) of the international venture capital firms and their potential partners impact their syndication behavior? 2) What configurations of the ventures' and the international venture capital firms' attributes is associated with syndication in emerging markets? and 3) Does the host country influence the international venture capital firms' syndication behavior and performance?

While there is a plethora of empirical studies on domestic venture capital activities and cross country comparison of the venture capital industry, there is a lack of research that looks at the process of the venture capital firms' international investments and explores the factors that influence the process of such investments. Essay I addresses this gap by developing a theoretical framework examining how network structure and composition of the both focal foreign venture capital firms potential partners operating in the host country can impact their syndication behavior. The major network constructs constituting the framework are network centrality, density, and diversity. The theoretical argument suggests that all of these factors can play a significant role in the venture capital firms' decision with regard to syndication. The major contribution of this essay is introducing the network attributes as the antecedent mechanisms impacting the syndication likelihood. Also, this study expands the level of the analysis in this literature, from the firm to its network. Essay II examines how venture s' risk factors (information asymmetry and technical complexity) and venture capital firms attributes (social status in the home and host countries and general and host country experiences) configure in syndicated deals applying fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. The results show that the venture riskiness is a more important factor driving the syndication decision compared to the venture capital firm's capabilities (identified through the social status and experience). Further, the venture capital firms' capabilities do not substitute the syndication. In other words, even firms with high social status and significant experience are willing to syndicate their investments. Finally, I found that while syndication is not systematically associated with high performance, lack of syndication is associated with low performance. This result reveals the vital role of partner selection in the venture capital syndications. Theoretically, my results lend more support to the assumption that syndication is not significantly contingent upon the venture and venture capital attributes, and other motivations such as portfolio diversification and future reciprocation are more likely to drive the syndication decision.

Essay III aims to examine whether venture capital firms alter their syndication strategy according to the host country attributes. The second research question in this essay is whether the performance of international venture capital firms systematically varies when they invest in different countries. Results provide support for the overall significant country effect on the syndication decision. Whether venture capital firms syndicate their investment or not is systematically and partially explained by the host country characteristics. The type of partner (domestic versus home country) also partially depends on the host country. Interestingly, the host country explains more variation of syndication with home country partners compared to domestic firms. Further, I found that the performance of the venture capital firms' international investments varies with the variation of the host country. The host country effect is significantly greater when the foreign firms only syndicate with the domestic partners. There are also more fine grained analyses whose results have been presented in this essay. Thus, this essay contributes to the theory and practice by revealing the significant effect of the host country on the international venture capital firms strategy and performance. Results of this essay open new venues for future studies and shed light on the plausible directions for the future research investigating the phenomenon of the venture capital firms' internationalization.


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