International entrepreneurship: leveraging internal and external knowledge sources

Stephanie A. Fernhaber, Butler University
Patricia P. Mcdougall-Covin
Dean A. Shepherd


International knowledge is a key intangible resource for international entrepreneurship. Yet, given the liabilities of newness and foreignness, how do new ventures obtain international knowledge? In this study, we draw on the knowledge-based view to investigate both internal and external sources of international knowledge for 206 new ventures. The findings suggest international knowledge may be sourced externally, including from alliance partners, venture capital firms, and firms in close proximity. Interestingly, and contrary to absorptive capacity arguments, new ventures with limited internationally experienced top management teams benefited most from external international knowledge sources.