The purpose of this study is to contribute to the born global literature in the international marketing field by examining the influence of horizontal network actors on the accelerated and continued internationalisation of its born global members. The study utilises a case study of a multi-firm population of digital animators in Ireland that, due to the inadequate domestic market for their product, needed to pursue global customers from inception. The case study domain was purposely selected as a critical exemplar of a horizontal social network with high levels of cooperation and trust between actively engaged member firms with close personal ties. Demonstrated is how horizontal networks can act as an important facilitator for the acquisition of international market knowledge and customers for born global ventures. This study suggests that being connected to horizontal social and institutional actors can confer on the born global members, interactive learning, knowledge development, reputational capital, legitimacy, enacted through the learning, continued interaction and exchanges. Horizontal informal and formal network actors warrant separate attention from their vertical value chain counterparts, which dominate most network studies in the realm of born global research.
Dr. Adele Smith-Auchmuty lectures in International Business and Corporate Entrepreneurship. Before joining Maynooth University, she was the Registrar at Galway Business School and an Associate Lecturer at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She earned her PhD from the Cairnes School of Business & Economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Previously, she completed an MSc in International Business at the University of Ulster.Her research explores born global companies with a particular focus on networks in evolving industries such as the animation industry. In her recent research, she analyses the domestic horizontal network membership of accelerated international firms. She has published her research in the International Marketing Review and the European Journal of International Management and presented at both national and international conferences. She is a member of the international entrepreneurship scholars network.
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