A resource co-evolutionary model for the internationalization of internet intermediary firms : evidence from New Zealand based internet payment intermediary firms : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in International Business Management at Massey University, Albany, Auckland, New Zealand

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Purpose - The purpose of this thesis is to explore the internationalization process of Internet Intermediary Firms (IIFs) and explain the unfolding of this process using a resource co-evolutionary lens of organizational knowledge and network resources. The leading research question of this study is thus “through a resource co-evolutionary lens, how and why is the internationalization of IIFs driven by the joint development of knowledge and network resources?” Methodology/approach/design – To answer the leading research question, this thesis applies a process-based research approach to seven qualitative case studies of the internationalization of New Zealand based Internet Payment Intermediaries (IPIs). Findings - This thesis identifies six internationalization episode patterns of IIFs, which are inception, siloing, bundling, multiplying, international replicating, and international withdrawal. The overall internationalization process of IIFs are non-linear but structurally predictable. Changes across these patterns take place at five human and non-human layers of IIF-centric digital platform-based ecosystem architecture – users, platforms, IIFs, usage scenarios, and sellers. Moreover, this thesis finds that IIFs’ product logic, user logic, buyer users, seller users, and cloud-based platform providers are their critical organizational knowledge and network resources, respectively. These knowledge and network resources co-evolve during internationalization, enabling the unfolding of the internationalization of IIFs. The “motor” of change derives from the IIFs’ choice of network externalities, internalization and externalization business approach. Through a resource co-evolutionary lens, this thesis finally provides a three-tier operational process model to describe and explain the internationalization process of IIFs. Practical implications - The message to IIF practitioners is that international development needs to be understood from a processual and structural view. The associated architectural resource properties of IIF-centric platform-based ecosystem and their joint actions are the keys to understanding their intricate global evolution processes. This study also signals international sellers a shift from adapting to the fluid and unruly digital ecosystems to governing the ecosystem through collaborating with IIFs. Originality/value - This is the first study of IIF internationalization. This thesis identifies the non-linear but structurally predictable internationalization process patterns of IIFs which is new to the literature. Moreover, this thesis also reveals the new types of organizational knowledge and network resources, explicitly enabling the internationalization of IIFs. This study constructively extends the traditional resource-based view towards a resource co-evolutionary view to explain the research phenomenon. The operational process model proposed in this study for the first sheds light on how to govern the business ecosystem, which is of both practical and theoretical importance.
Electronic commerce, Internet, New Zealand