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Title: International high-tech entrepreneurship and learning : a mixed methods study on the ways international Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs learn about business opportunities
Author: Fayena, Izak Zahi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9302
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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This study focuses on how entrepreneurs learn about international business opportunities and explores the factors that affect the way they do it. The main conclusion of the literature review was that current international entrepreneurship research is still under development and the topic of international entrepreneurial learning about business opportunities yet to receive widespread attention. In addition, entrepreneurs utilise different ways to learn about the opportunities. However, there is a lack of coherence among scholars on what learning strategies are exactly, how many of them exist, and how they should be defined and categorised (Kakkonen, 2010).The research strategy of this study is based on the mixed methods approach. The design is a two-phase, sequential mixed methods study, utilising a qualitative, followed by a quantitative phase (Creswell et al., 2003). The qualitative phase was split into two parts: QUAL1 and QUAL2. Each qualitative phase includes the analysis of interviews and focus group discussions (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998). In the quantitative phase, a web-based questionnaire was the chosen data collection tool (Cobanoglu et al., 2001; Sills and Song, 2002). The study was conducted on a sample of 178 high-tech entrepreneurs in Israel. The results show that international entrepreneurs learn strategically about business opportunities. They utilise different ways, means, and mechanisms to assist in the identification process of entrepreneurial opportunities. These processes can be considered as learning processes, and the way they are enacted can be termed as 'learning strategies'. Based on the findings of the qualitative phases (QUAL1, QUAL2) and prior studies, six learning strategies were identified as relevant to the process of opportunity identification. Furthermore, the quantitative phase showed that business ownership experience and entrepreneurial self-efficacy have a significant influence on prior knowledge on international arena. In addition, prior knowledge was found as the most significant factor, affecting the ways entrepreneurs learn about business opportunities, while the cognitive style was found to moderate the strength of the relationships between prior knowledge and the learning strategies. Social networking ties also had an impact on the ways entrepreneurs learn, however this influence is diverse, and its statistical significance depends on the specific learning strategy. The importance and contribution of the proposed study can be defined as follows: Firstly, the study can help to reveal the underlying logic of opportunity identification as a learning process. Secondly, combining different frameworks into a new conceptual model as has been done in this study, may establish a new outlook, and contribute to the progress of research into entrepreneurship. Thirdly, International entrepreneurs can also benefit from these elements by acknowledging that they have a battery of learning strategies, which are relevant to the opportunity identification process, and most importantly, they can be taught how to learn about an idea throughout the process of opportunity identification.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International Entrepreneurship ; Opportunity Identification ; Entrepreneurial Learning ; Learning Strategies ; High-tech Entrepreneurship