Foreign interfirm networks and internationalization: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

Ling Liu, John Henley, Mohammad Mousavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates how buyer-supplier interfirm networks with foreign affiliates affect the internationalization of local firms in developing countries. In a study of 1601 sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms, we find that foreign interfirm linkages positively influence firm internationalization, but this only relates to supply linkages. We further examine the role of absorptive capacity and find that both potential and realized absorptive capacity has positive and independent effects on firm internationalization. However, potential absorptive capacity has no moderating effect and realized absorptive capacity negatively moderates the relationship between foreign interfirm networks and internationalization. Finally, implications for public policy and managerial practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100810
Pages (from-to)1-18
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • internationalization
  • interfirm networks
  • emerging markets
  • absorptive capacity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Foreign interfirm networks and internationalization: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this