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Beating competitors to international markets: The value of geographically balanced networks for innovation



Being able to launch new products internationally is critical for technology-based ventures to recoup the high costs of R&D and to exploit their innovations fully. Despite the widely recognized importance of networks within the innovation development process, there appear to be contrasting viewpoints as to whether local or foreign network partners contribute more in the race to internationalize. Drawing on the theoretical underpinnings of comparative advantage, we propose and empirically confirm that ventures pursuing a balance of local and foreign network connections for the development of an innovation are able to bring the product more rapidly into the international marketplace. Furthermore, both innovation complexity and industry clockspeed heighten the importance of geographic network balance to the speed of product internationalization. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.