Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Bisk College of Business

First Advisor

Charles Bryant

Second Advisor

Christian J. Sonnenberg

Third Advisor

Robert F. Keimer

Fourth Advisor

Youngju Sohn


Knowledge is the most critical strategic asset that a firm possesses, and the ability to integrate knowledge is among the most essential determinants of competitive advantage. However, the multiple characteristics of knowledge result in inconsistent definitions, leading to a wide range of constructs and studies that yield conflicting results, reducing generalizability. Limited empirical evidence supports the proposition that knowledge integration is a function of the changing knowledge structures of firms. In this study, complex adaptive systems theory was leveraged to develop an empirical examination of the influence of knowledge complexity on foreign entry mode (FEM) choices and the subsequent ability of firms in the chemical industry to integrate knowledge. The examination of changes in the knowledge structure of a firm showed that a significant curvilinear relationship existed between the ability to integrate knowledge and its knowledge complexity and that its knowledge complexity influenced its FEM choices. The choice of FEM was also shown to exert a weak indirect influence on the relationship between knowledge complexity and knowledge integration in the period of the FEM activity. Ultimately, the study supported the notion that firms behave in a manner congruent with complex adaptive systems theory and provided empirical support for the assertions of the knowledge-based view.


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Available for download on Tuesday, December 17, 2024