Commercial Diplomats as corporate entrepreneurs: an institutional perspective


Visser, R. and Ruel, H.J.M. (2012) Commercial Diplomats as corporate entrepreneurs: an institutional perspective. In: H.J.M. Ruel (Ed.), Commercial Diplomacy and International Business: a conceptual and empirical exploration. Advanced Series in Management. Advanced Series in Management., 9 (9). Emerald Publishers Ltd., WA UK, 29 - 70. ISBN 9781780526744

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Abstract:This chapter presents a study on the work of commercial diplomats as international business promoters at foreign posts. Research has largely overlooked the actual roles and activities of commercial diplomats in explaining the effectiveness of commercial diplomacy and international business support. In this study, it is assumed that commercial diplomats’ behavior is influenced by informal institutions. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 23 commercial diplomats at foreign posts from different countries were conducted and analyzed. The results show three different types of role behavior and differences in proactivity per type. Informal institutions such as background, skills, and experience, cultural differences, and the working environment suggest to explain the differences in levels of proactive international business support behavior of commercial diplomats. Further research is needed to assert these findings
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