Understanding internationalisation through the lens of social network analysis

Yusuf Kurt, M Yamin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

495 Downloads (Pure)


The advent of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in visualising relationships through mapping social interconnections (sociograms) has enabled a significant shift from loose metaphorical narratives on network relationships to more precise outputs on web of invisible ties among social actors (Knox et al., 2006). SNA can reveal interdependence between social actors and its consequences through employing SNA-specific measurements such as centrality, density and size. The significance of SNA resides in its reference to the importance of social structures, which has been ignored under methodologically individualistic approaches in social science research that has overlooked the interdependence of all social actors through networks (Borgatti and Li, 2009) and thus the potential of social network analysis still remains widely untapped. In international business and particularly in the literature on firm internationalisation there has been a move away from focusing on firms as ‘atomistic agents’ and towards considering the importance of network linkage and dependence, most sharply demonstrated by the significant revision in the Uppsala model of firm internationalisation (Johanson and Vahlne, 1977, 2009). More broadly, the role of networking and network dependency has been extensively focused in the international business (IB) and internationalisation literatures (Coviello, 2006). However, the key shortcoming has been that the systematic utilisation of social network theories and along with that the application of SNA as an analytical tool to investigate network dimensions (e.g. network density, centrality, reciprocity, frequency, network size and so forth) has been rare. To sum up, even though the SNA hold a great potential, the level of its application as an analytical and methodological tool in internationalisation research is far behind from its potential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImpact of International Business
Subtitle of host publication Challenges and solutions for policy and practice
EditorsHeinz Tüselmann, Stephen Buzdugan, Qi Cao, David Freund, Sougand Golesorkhi
Place of PublicationHoundmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, U.K.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9781137569455, 113756945X
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Publication series

NameAcademy of International Business (UKI) Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding internationalisation through the lens of social network analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this