Conference paper

Serendipitous Opportunities, Entrepreneurial Logic and Knowledge in International Business Networks


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Publication Details

Author list: Papaioannou, Stylianos

Publication year: 2016


Few researchers and even fewer practitioners would deny that luck, chance or serendipitous events play a central role in the growth process of firms. However, most entrepreneurship models ignore the role of serendipity in the opportunity discovery process. Instead, it is assumed that international opportunities are discovered or created by entrepreneurs. In this paper we provide a more nuanced view on international opportunities by developing the role of serendipitous opportunities in the internationalization process. We develop a model integrating the notions of serendipity, entrepreneurial logic, experiential knowledge and network knowledge redundancy. From our model we condense three sets of hypotheses on the relationships among experiential knowledge and entrepreneurial logic, network knowledge redundancy and entrepreneurial logic, and entrepreneurial logic and serendipity. We confront our hypotheses with data collected on-site at 160 firms covering 226 opportunities. The result of our analysis reveals that experiential knowledge and network knowledge redundancy both lead to a more causation-based logic of the firm. Causation in turn reduces the likeliness that serendipitous opportunities will be realized in the internationalization process. These findings come with implications for both researchers and practitioners.


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