Abstract

Personal networks of entrepreneurs are an important factor triggering the internationalization of young ventures (McDougall, Shane, and Oviatt, 1994). However, the literature on new venture internationalization has largely neglected that properties and configurations of networks can differ substantially. Drawing on the McMullen and Shepherd (2006) model of entrepreneurial action, we argue that networks can trigger internationalization decisions by increasing entrepreneurs’ knowledge. Since networks differ in their information provision we argue that some networks might trigger entrepreneurs’ intention to internationalize early more than others. Moreover, research has shown that individuals and organizations use their networks differently, suggesting that characteristics of both the entrepreneur and the venture might impact how networks influence entrepreneurs’ decisions to internationalize. We suggest that perceived venture absorptive capacity and the personality trait generalized trust positively moderate the relationship between network characteristics and the decision to internationalize early.

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