Title: Complexity and interdependency in firm's internationalisation: when the state becomes the partner

Authors: Fernando Freire de Sousa, Francisco Figueira de Lemos

Addresses: Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-464 Porto, Portugal. ' Faculty of Economics and Management, Portuguese Catholic University (Porto), Rua Diogo Botelho 1327, 4169-005 Porto, Portugal

Abstract: A broader consensus is built around the rationale of internationalisation process as a firm-specific issue. Under this view, the state/governmental intervention is not usually seen as desirable or relevant; nevertheless it has always occurred whether catalysing, defining or disregarding the firms| foreign market expansion. This paper presents a case where the government surpassed that |soft role| and promoted a joint venture with banks in order to take an active part in the capital structure of internationalising firms. The findings from the empirical facts show that this strong involvement of the state responded to a |failure| of the financial sector and catalysed the internationalisation of Portuguese firms. The discussion and conclusions underline three relevant issues within the international business field: the complexity of firms| internationalisation process, the active presence of non-industrial actors in that process, and the interdependency established among firms and governments through collaborative strategies to assist firms| internationalisation.

Keywords: internationalisation; complexity; interdependency; non-industrial actors; state; government; joint ventures; risk; lack of knowledge; venture capital; Portugal; banks; capital structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2009.028796

International Journal of Business Environment, 2009 Vol.2 No.4, pp.485 - 504

Published online: 30 Sep 2009 *

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