From Core Competences to Competitive Combinations: Diversification and Human Capital as drivers of Intemationalization amongst Professional Service Firms

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Andrea Mina
Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Thursday, 14 April 2011 - 12:00

Entry into foreign markets is a key decision in the growth strategy of modern firms. This paper addresses the problem of the drivers of internationalization and studies the link between international expansion, industrial diversification and related firm characteristics.  To capture salient aspects of knowledge-based competitive processes and to redress imbalances in the scholarly attention given to services and to manufacturing sectors, we focus on professional service firms (PSFs), one of the most innovative and dynamic components of advanced economies. We empirically investigate the determinants of internationalization on a panel of UK-based engineering consultancies over the 1994-2009 period. 

We find that more specialized firms are more likely to internationalize than less specialized firms, but that diversification into more unrelated activities exerts a substantial and positive impact on internationalization.  The internationalization process tends to be persistent over time and significantly builds upon prior geographical expansion in domestic markets.  Specific human capital fosters internationalization and intensifies the benefits of firm scope, unrelated diversification and domestic diversification. In addition, business size and age, as well as foreign ownership and specific types of governance changes also exert positive and significant effects, which we discuss together with all other findings to draw some implications for the management of PSFs.

 

Place: 

Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación | Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 4ª (Sala Descubre. Cubo Rojo)

Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n

 

Short CV: 

Andrea Mina (PhD University of Manchester, MSc SPRU-University of Sussex, ‘Laurea’ University of Turin) is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Business Research of the University of Cambridge and Research Associate of the Business Economics and Management Division of the Cambridge Judge Business School.  He is also an Associate and Co-investigator of the UK Innovation Research Centre @ Cambridge University and Imperial College London.  He is Principal and Co-Principal Investigator of a number of projects funded, among others, by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and the European Commission.

His research focuses on the theory and empirical analysis of technological, organisational and institutional change with special emphasis on the problems of innovation systems and processes, innovation networks, industrial dynamics and the financing of innovation.  He has consulted in these areas for a variety of public and private organisations, including the UK Council for Science and Technology, the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.  He contributes to the teaching of Business Economics at the University of Cambridge (MSc in Management; MPhil in Entrepreneurial Science and Innovation Policy, Judge Business School) and of Principles of Innovation Economics at the University of Turin (MSc in Health Economics, Real Collegio Carlo Alberto).  He has published in and regularly serves as referee for leading innovation journals and is a member of the International Schumpeter Society, DRUID and the Academy of Management.