On the internationalization of Turkish hospital chains: A dynamic capabilities perspective

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Uner M. M., Cetin B., Cavusgil S. T.

International Business Review, vol.29, no.3, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101693
  • Journal Name: International Business Review
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Public Affairs Index
  • Keywords: Internationalization of hospitals, Internationalization of professional services firms, Cross-border trade and investment, Hospital chains, medical tourism, FOREIGN DIRECT-INVESTMENT, CONCEPTUAL-MODEL, MEDICAL TOURISM, SERVICE FIRMS, MARKET ENTRY, HEALTH, BEHAVIOR, STATES
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


© 2020How do professional service firms build the capabilities required for effective international operations? Although the internationalization of manufacturing firms is a widely studied topic, the literature on the internationalization of service firms remains scant. The problem is even more acute when it comes to studies of professional services such as healthcare organizations and hospitals. Yet, we encounter remarkable examples of international market expansion by professional service firms. In this paper, we report on a study of large privately-owned hospital operators from the emerging economy of Turkey, based on in-depth interviews with senior executives. Taking advantage of Turkey's strategic location in the region, these firms have shown extraordinary entrepreneurial initiative expanding their operations beyond the home market over the past two decades. Even more impressive is the creative strategies these firms have been deploying in terms of market entry modes. These range from medical tourism to setting up diagnostic clinics abroad, operating full-service hospitals in key markets, management contracts, and attracting equity capital from international investment firms. We draw from the theory of dynamic capabilities in order to explain the success these firms have had in cultivating international market opportunities. We contend that it takes a variety of organizational capabilities for traditionally domestic-market focused firms to expand into international markets. We provide an integrative discussion and offer implications for advancing knowledge and managerial practice.