Topic: Networking by internationalizing SMEs in the light of domestic institutional voids - a comparison of Egypt and the UK

Speaker: Prof. John Child(Professor, University of Birmingham)

Time: 14:30-16:30, Nov. 28th (Fri.), 2014

Venue: Huang Bingli Conference Room, Lingnan Hall

Language: English


Abstract: Are the networking behaviors and patterns of internationalization by SMEs contingent upon institutional voids in their domestic environment? This seminar reports a comparative study of forty SMEs active in international business and located in respectively a developing and developed country – Egypt and the UK. The two countries are shown to contrast in the level and nature of institutional voids both within their economies as a whole and specifically with respect to agencies officially promoting SME internationalization.  Institutional voids are assessed with reference to two attributes, lack of institutional competence and institutional impropriety. Differences in the networking behavior of small business entrepreneurs, especially the use of contractual “business” versus informal “social” ties, were found to reflect their experience of these institutional voids. The nature of SMEs’ networking in relation to contrasting institutional conditions, as well as their general networking behavior, was also consistent with cultural differences between the two countries.  The analysis draws together the associations between level of development, institutional voids and culturally-informed firm level behavior.

Speaker introduction: John Child is Professor of Commerce at the University of Birmingham, Professor of Management at Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the Academy of International Business and the British Academy of Management.  In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the prestigious British Academy [FBA]. Professor Child has published 23 books and approximately 150 articles in journals including Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Human Relations, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Science, Organization Studies and Strategic Management Journal. His book, co-authored with Suzana Rodrigues, Corporate Co-evolution (Wiley 2008) won the 2009 Terry Book Award of the Academy of Management.  In 2013 he published two books. The first, The Dynamics of Corporate Co-evolution (Edward Elgar) is a study of how YICT, China’s largest container terminal, developed in relation to its institutional environment. The second book is Knowledge and the Study of Organization and Management (Oxford University Press). A new edition of his successful textbook on Organization: A Guide to Contemporary Principles and Practice will be published by Wiley in January 2015. John Child has been editor-in-chief of Organization Studies and Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review. His current interests are in problems of organizational hierarchy and how smaller firms internationalize.

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