Title: The impact of human and social capital on the internationalisation of German consulting firms

Authors: Markus G. Kittler, Tassilo Schuster

Addresses: Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK. ' Department of International Management, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403 Nuremberg, Germany

Abstract: Professional service firms (PSFs) are increasingly urged to expand beyond national borders. Whereas, the internationalisation of large industrial firms has been a traditional element of international business research, interest in PSFs is a more recent element of the IB-research agenda. This study analyses the impact of elements of human and social capital on a PSF|s degree of internationalisation and presents an empirical analysis based on a dataset of German consulting firms. The concept is tested against data from 314 German consultants aggregated on the firm level using correlation and multiple regression analysis. The results only partially support the assumed relationships between elements of social capital and consulting firms| degrees of internationalisation. The assumed relationship between elements of human capital and internationalisation is not supported. Possible explanations for the unexpected results are discussed.

Keywords: social capital; internationalisation; company performance; professional service firms; knowledge intensive companies; Germany; consulting firms; consultancies; expansion; consultants; correlation; multiple regression analysis; entrepreneurship; business models; human capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2010.034418

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2010 Vol.12 No.2, pp.138 - 155

Published online: 03 Aug 2010 *

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