PhD defence at MSC: Henrik Gundelach gains his PhD degree

Henrik Gundelach

On 28 October, PhD Fellow Henrik Gundelach successfully defended his PhD dissertation with the title ‘Performance determinants: An Investigation of the Relationship between Resources, Experience and Performance in Challenging Business Environments’.


Henrik Gundelach’s thesis examines the performance determinants of foreign firms’ engagement in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDC) by focusing on the internationalisation process and factors that determine a sustained and economically viable presence. Firms are identifying the rising business prospects in, e.g. Africa and developing strategies for entry or long term survival. The notable differences between the business environments in advanced economies in the geographical North and the EMDCs pose challenges for foreign

firms. Some firms fulfil their entry objective while others fail. After entry, some firms survive while others fail. The dissertation examines the performance effect of resources and experience to ascertain their role concerning entry or sustained presence in challenging business environments in the EMDCs.


The dissertation identifies a predetermined dual-pronged resource strategy deployed by subsidiaries in East Africa irrespective of the subsidiaries’ industry and entry motive. It establishes that the deployment of such strategies is facilitated by employing managers with extensive industry experience, often instead of host country experience. Furthermore, the thesis contributes empirically to a recent addition to the Uppsala internationalisation process model by establishing that the accumulation of pre-entry experience may not reduce the psychic distance to fulfil strategic market entry objectives. The thesis also contributes internationalisation theory by establishing a positive association between vicarious host country experience provided by a same-home-country business partner and subsidiary performance. The thesis’s main methodological contribution is developing a tri-partite framework to assist future research in selecting an appropriate measure of subsidiary performance.


Henrik’s PhD was supported by the Augustinus Foundation, the Otto Mønsted Foundation and Firmaet Hugo Evers & Co’s Foundation and supervised by Associate Professor Søren Jeppesen (primary) and Professor Bo Bernhard Nielsen (secondary).


For further information, please contact Henrik Gundelach,


The page was last edited by: Department of Management, Society and Communication // 12/15/2021