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The role of relationships in initiating the internationalization process in B2B markets

Bartosz Deszczyński (), Krzysztof Fonfara () and Adam Dymitrowski ()
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Bartosz Deszczyński: Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland
Krzysztof Fonfara: Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland
Adam Dymitrowski: Poznań University of Economics and Business, Poland

Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 2017, vol. 5, issue 4, 91-109

Abstract: Objective: The objective of this paper is to evaluate how companies use the relationship capital when initiating the internationalization process and how the development of a business network affects this process. Research Design & Methods: The paper presents a comparative analysis of case studies of seven companies based in Poland and operating in foreign markets. This set of primary data and a comprehensive literature review served as a stimulus for the development of a typology of relationship capital mediating agents. Findings: The cornerstone of the article is the assumption that in order to accelerate internationalization, entities trying to enter foreign markets have to “borrow†relationship capital from one or more of several mediating agents. The article identifies these agents and outlines the role of different types of relationships during the market entry phase. Implications & Recommendations: The article proposes a typology of relationship capital mediating agents such as: foreign and domestic intermediaries, individual insiders, own international and corporate network, own network expansion, and corporate or personal referrals. It also outlines the limited role of social relationships in concluding a successful market entry, placing them as one of the possible, but not necessary, options. Contribution & Value Added: The originality of this work lies in the application of the concept of the relationship assets/capital to the network approach in internationalization as proposed by the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing Group (IMP) and the development of a typology of relationship capital mediating agents.

Keywords: business relationships; social relationships; institutional relationships; internationalization; relationship capital mediating agents, relationship management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L25 D23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review is currently edited by Krzysztof Wach, PhD, hab.

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