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Prioritising SMEs Internationalisation Practices Considering Their Various Interrelating Barriers: A Sustainability and Resiliency Approach

Ali Zamani Babgohari (Tehran University)
Danial Esmaelnezhad (University of Tehran, Iran)
Mohammadreza Taghizadeh-Yazdi (University of Tehran, Iran)


Pressure on business to direct their activities responsibly has been increased during the last years to extent their suitability performance in all economic, social and environmental dimensions. This has motivated businesses and researchers to identify ways to implement sustainable and resilient operations. In the era of economic globalisation, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are recognised as an engine of sustainable economic development in both the developed and developing world. Their competitiveness drives the economy, both nationally and internationally. SMEs have faced challenges in developing, internationalisation and achieving competitive advantage. Purpose of current study is to identify and analyse the sustainability and resiliency (SR) barriers to SME internationalisation and prioritise the practices to overcome the negative influence of barriers. In this regard, first, barriers and innovative practices have been identified through the literature review. Second, the essential barriers will be selected through reduction steps by the intuitionistic fuzzy Delphi (IF-Delphi) method. After computing the weight of barriers through the IF-DEMATEL method, the practices were prioritised using four multiple attribute decision-making (MADM) methods in an IF environment. Finally, the scores were aggregated by correlation coefficient and standard deviation (CCSD) technique. Results present that ‘Lack of economical resources to global exports’ and ‘Complications in acclimatizing export product design’ are the top priority barriers and ‘Knowledge of global market opportunities’ and ‘Networking with business incubator institutions’ have been recognised as the essential SMEs internationalisation practices. This study contributes to creating a more focussed approach towards the growth of SMEs. The study results would be helpful for industry, policymakers and academia.



Babgohari, A.Z., Esmaelnezhad, D. and Taghizadeh-Yazdi, M. (2023), "Prioritising SMEs Internationalisation Practices Considering Their Various Interrelating Barriers: A Sustainability and Resiliency Approach", Jafari-Sadeghi, V. and Amoozad Mahdiraji, H. (Ed.) Decision-Making in International Entrepreneurship: Unveiling Cognitive Implications Towards Entrepreneurial Internationalisation (Entrepreneurial Behaviour Series), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 217-241.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Ali Zamani Babgohari, Danial Esmaelnezhad and Mohammadreza Taghizadeh-Yazdi