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Internationalization and its relationship to firm performance : the role of intangible resources

Krist, M. and Bausch, A. and Rosenbusch, Nina (2006) Internationalization and its relationship to firm performance : the role of intangible resources. In: Academy of International Business Annual Conference, 2006-06-23 - 2006-06-26. (Unpublished)

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After thirty years of research on the relationship between internationalization and firm perform-ance findings on the direction and magnitude are still contradictory. Contemporary research pro-poses that the focal relationship is fundamentally context dependent. We address the question if and how internationalization is related to firm performance with an explicit consideration of the role of intangible resources. Theories of the Multinational Company (MNC) suggest that the availability of intangible resources is key to success in international mar-kets. Most recently another line of research has aimed at reconciling controversial findings by discussing the curve-type that best reflects the internationalization-performance relationship. Preliminary results for a sample of n = 52 publicly listed German firms indicate that inter-nationalization per se has no effect on financial performance but that the availability of intangible resources in the form of technological know-how is essential for success in internationalization. Our research lends support to theories that stress the conditionality of success in internationalization and that emphasize the decisive role of intangible resources. We think that an integration of different theoretical approaches might be helpful to more fully understand the nature of the inter-nationalization-performance relationship.