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Title: Identifying the path through which entrepreneurial proclivity influences competitive advantage in international service ventures : do dynamic capabilities, marketing capabilities and international marketing strategy fit matter?
Author: Alarape, O. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 3867
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Entrepreneurial proclivity and competitive advantage have received significant attention from an international performance perspective within the context of the manufacturing sector but not for the service sector. While the manufacturing-focused research has contributed to the development of firm internationalisation through improved strategies, the international business climate has been largely unstable and continuously evolving with appreciable shift of interest to emerging economies for foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities that will leverage technology to drive innovation; especially in the services sector. This is to foster the survival and expansion of international sales and internationalisation. The irony is that international service firms increasing growth has contributed immensely to the services position in the global trade, and there is need for international marketing theory and practice based on services internationalisation, and not just the current understanding and international marketing strategies solely rooted in the manufacturing sector. In response to this lacuna of knowledge in the existing knowledge and professional practice, this mixed methods action research inquiry attempts to shed light in the field through the development of a comprehensive framework of the precedence of competitive advantage in the context of international service ventures, and to further identify if the study findings can bring actionable knowledge and change in the researcher’s organisation. A major problem being addressed by this research is an in-depth understanding on why some international service ventures are successful in expanding their business internationally? What are the drivers of competitive advantage behind these international service ventures? Based on the dynamic capabilities theory and international marketing strategy literature reviewed, a set of research hypotheses developed and empirically tested affirming that the development and adoption of certain dynamic capabilities enhances the marketing capabilities available to international service ventures. This further fortifies the international service venture ability to achieve a proper fit between the international marketing strategy being pursued and the environmental context of implementation. Data collected from 260 international service ventures in Nigeria. The study findings formed the basis of reflection and discussion within the researcher workplace focus-group in order to identify how they could bring actionable knowledge and change in the researcher’s organization. The study results reveal a positive relationship between international marketing strategy fit and competitive advantage. International entrepreneurial proclivity found to be a significant precursor of sensing and reconfiguring processes where the actual influence fluctuates across different entrepreneurial proclivity aspects. By using mixed methods action research through a cyclic approach as an insider action researcher, the researcher was able to apply the survey findings in practice through focus-group taking action, evaluating the action and monitoring through quantitative and qualitative approaches within the context of the conceptual framework in order to solve this workplace-based problem and also to improve his practice. The findings discussed in light of existing knowledge, and possible limitations of the study considered. As a DBA action research project emphasis is placed on the implications/relevance of the research findings to scholars, business practitioners, managers, policy makers, investors and international service venture development. Future research opportunities identified and discussed. KEYWORDS: International entrepreneurial proclivity, international dynamic capabilities, marketing capabilities, marketing strategy fit, international service advantage, competitive advantage, international service venture, internationalisation of services, mixed methods action research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available