Applying the AHP Model to Explore Key Success Factors for High-Tech Startups Entering International Markets

Applying the AHP Model to Explore Key Success Factors for High-Tech Startups Entering International Markets

Yi-Fen Chen (Department of International Business, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan), Chia-Wen Tsai (Department of Information Management, Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan) and Hsiu-Jung Liu (Department of International Business, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan City, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJEA.2019010104
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Compared to various other types of entrepreneurships, high-tech entrepreneurships are the most difficult to succeed in, but the rewards can be great. For startups, identifying customers and markets are as important as developing a product. Given the limited scale of domestic markets, if a high-tech startup wants to become a unicorn company, it goes without saying that entering international markets is necessary. This study considers high-tech startups as the research object. Through literature review, it first summarizes five major dimensions and 15 criteria. Then, it conducts the preliminary questionnaire survey on the effects of firm competencies and industry environment on internationally successful high-tech startups using expert questionnaires. The questionnaire survey was also used to establish the hierarchical structure and key success factors (KSF). Subsequently, the study conducted survey and statistical analysis of the questionnaire data using analytic hierarchy process (AHP). By assessing the dimensions and summarizing the key success factors, this study can serve as a useful reference for future startups. Existing startups can examine their own conditions and opportunities to reconsider their strategic positioning. Additionally, the findings of this study can support high-tech startups to enable them to concentrate on their core competencies in order to strengthen competitiveness and likelihood of success in international markets.
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1. Introduction

High-tech industry is one of the most important industries in acknowledge-based economy (Hong et al., 2016). Startups are generally defined as beginning with companies that seek to apply innovative approaches to solving problems and have high potential for scalability. Their added value is a breakthrough or substantially improved product or service for the relevant market (Janáková, 2015). High-technology startups (also sometimes referred to as high-tech startups and new technology-based firms), which allows the tracking of firms from their early stages through to adolescence and into maturity over a period of over thirteen years (Siepel et al., 2017). High-tech startups have to concentrate on various aspects all the while in order to succeed in today’s business world, particularly in international markets. This study explores key success factors on market entry success of high-tech startups from international markets. The key success factors (KSF), also known in the literature as critical success factors, originated in the area of management information systems and later have been transferred to the business strategy field (Grunert & Ellegaard, 1992). One of the most universal definitions of KSF, which refers to both public and private sectors, was introduced by Boynton and Zmud (1984). KSF are “those few things that must go well to ensure success” (Boynton & Zmud, 1984). Firm performance is constrained by internal factors, such as resources and strategic choices and external factors, such as the carrying capacity of the environment or competition (Eniola & Entebanga, 2015). Figure 1 shows the internal environment, industry and competitive environment that influence firm performance.

Figure 1.

The internal environment, industry and competitive environment


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