Globalisation and Competitive Sustenance of Born Global : Evidence from Indian knowledge-intensive service industry

Abstract: The survival and sustained competitiveness of born global firms constitute a complex and dynamic process that evolves under conditions of disruptive change and pervasive uncertainty. To date, whereas much of the research in the area has focused on the early and rapid internationalisation stages of the development of born global firms, it is not clear how these firms manage to survive the challenges of the early internationalisation stage and gain a sustainable competitive position in the global economy. The present dissertation develops a theoretical framework that captures the organisational factors, capabilities and processes that enable the early survival stage and long-term competitive sustenance of born global firms.Building on the dynamic capabilities approach, and drawing on material gleaned from five Indian born-global, knowledge-intensive service firms, the present study stresses the importance of human capital’s timely ability to evolve and transform itself in rhythm with environmental changes. Crucial in this process are a) firms’ entrepreneurial orientation, b) their ability to learn and to build an intimate relationship with their customers, and c) to be immersed in their customer’ business intricacy. The study makes a number of contributions to firms’ internationalisation scholarship, in general, and more specifically to how Indian knowledge-intensive service firms cope with the initial challenges they face in their internationalisation process. Finally, the study concludes with a number of future research directions.

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