When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
This dissertation consists of three essays which investigate the internationalization of firms in less developed economies (LDEs), with a special focus on institutional factors and business group affiliation (BGA), as well as a study of the firms’ non-market strategies in LDEs. The research setting is Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The unique contribution of my thesis is to more deeply explore the research agenda articulated by George and his colleagues (2016) by focusing on a prevalent and understudied organizational form in the region: BGs are widely viewed in the literature as a mechanism for closing institutional voids, developing their affiliates’ capabilities through resource provision, and enabling opportunities by raising their capacities to reach international markets. I examine ethnicity as a primary axis of solidarity among BGs in SSA and address the question of their competitive advantage from the perspective of solidarity. Lastly, the thesis seeks to contribute to the debate about the dominant non-market strategies of SSA’s firms, contribution to public projects and bribery by drawing attention to resource dependency theory. In this study, I also examine the influence of business group affiliation on the non-market strategies and their linkage.