Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Major/Program

Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Ronaldo Parente

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Sumit Kundu

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Stav Fainshmidt

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Steven Carnovale

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Network, automotive industry, performance persistence, innovation, entry mode

Date of Defense

5-11-2018

Abstract

This dissertation studies the importance of alliance networks on firms’ behavior and performance outcomes in the context of the global automotive industry. The first essay examines the importance of alliance networks positions on the persistence of an innovation advantage for a firm. The results contribute to our understanding of network advantages and network structure persistence over time. Building upon network theory, I found that network prominence facilitates the persistence of an innovation advantage over time as network prominence supports a firm’s continuous innovation and can effectively impede imitation by competitors. Conversely, network density and brokerage are negatively associated with the persistence of an innovation advantage over time.

Drawn upon organization learning, knowledge transfer, and network literature, the second essay aims to uncover different combinations of a firm’s internal and external knowledge creation capabilities and knowledge transfer capabilities that lead to a firm’s superior innovation performance within different environments. Specifically, using a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) technique, I identified three possible solutions to a firm’s superior innovation performance. Results from the global automotive industry highlight that the novel knowledge recognition capability, represented by alliance network diversity and structural holes, play a critical role for firms to achieve superior innovation.

In the third essay, I explored how MNEs’ host country local network advantages can influence their subsequent entry strategies. Based on a study of 345 FDI entries in the U.S. market, I found that firms with a higher level of local network prominence are more likely to choose greenfield investments over acquisitions in their subsequent entries as local network prominence can facilitate firms’ local resource access and reduce the dependence on forming new cooperative modes in the host country. This study contributes to both the entry mode and network literature by showing the importance of firms’ network positions on their resource access and control in the process of internationalization.

In sum, the findings of this dissertation contribute to our understanding of alliance networks and alliance management by providing empirical evidence of the influence of alliance networks on firms’ behavior and performance outcomes.

Identifier

FIDC006597

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