Strategic Resource Decisions to Enhance the Performance of Global Engineering Services

Yufeng Zhang, Zhibo Yang, Tao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
250 Downloads (Pure)


This paper extends our understanding of the internationalisation and firm performance (I-FP) relationship of service firms by considering the influence of strategic decisions on three types of slack resources. The research focusses on an important type of service operations - global engineering services, which are a major part of the global economy and represent a distinctive business model in the contemporary business environment. In doing so, we theorise the I-FP relationship by addressing the knowledge-intensive, project-based and people-centric features of engineering service firms (ESFs); and test the relationship with a carefully assembled dataset containing 12 years’ data from 242 ESFs. We identify a negative overall I-FP relationship, i.e. ESFs’ international expansion leads to worse financial performance in general. The presence of slack resources explains why such a result exists. Our findings have significant implications, both for future research on internationalisation and performance and for firms to effectively deploy their resources to support global service operations in a strategic manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-48
Number of pages48
JournalInternational Business Review
Early online date6 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • internationalisation-firm performance (I-FP)
  • relationship
  • strategic resource decisions
  • engineering services firms (ESFs)


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