Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Management

Committee Director

Anil Nair (Chair)

Committee Member

William Q. Judge

Committee Member

Larry H. Filer


This dissertation comprises two essays on the internationalization speed of new ventures and contributes to the international entrepreneurship literature at several levels. The first essay reviews and critiques the internationalization speed literature and proposes a multi-dimensional conceptualization of speed of internationalization. In particular, previous studies that examined internationalization speed implicitly assumed that INVs need to enter new countries to grow fast in foreign markets. The key tenet of the first essay is that INVs can also grow fast in foreign markets by expanding rapidly in previously entered host countries. Consequently, the first essay uses three theoretical perspectives — organizational learning, industrial economics, and institutional theory — to develop a multi-level conceptual model that investigates the antecedents of INV expansion speed at the firm, industry, and institutional levels.

The second essay contributes to the international entrepreneurship literature by advancing an important yet hitherto overlooked source of knowledge about international markets – interlocking directorates. Using organizational learning and board capital theories, the second essay investigates how the degree of internationalization of firms with which INVs’ top managers and outside directors have interlocking directorate ties affect the internationalization speed of INVs. Empirical results from the population of publicly held U.S. INVs over the 2005 10 period provide support for the role of interlocking directorates during the internationalization process of INVs. The current study contributes to organizational learning theory by demonstrating that grafted knowledge coming from outside directors and vicarious knowledge coming from top managers do not substitute for but complement each other in influencing INVs’ internationalization speed. In addition, the present study also contributes to board capital theory by highlighting the role of outside directors in the context of INVs’ internationalization process. To summarize, this dissertation contributes to the international entrepreneurship literature by (1) introducing an additional dimension of the internationalization speed of INVs, (2) advancing a novel source of knowledge about foreign markets – interlocking directorates.


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