The purpose of this paper is to assess the influence of the presence in foreign markets on small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) financial performance. Furthermore, it seeks to examine the moderating effect of corporate group and alliance portfolio size on this relationship.
First, the authors develop hypotheses concerning the relationship between the presence in foreign markets and SMEs’ financial performance as well as the moderating role of the size of an SME’s corporate group and alliance portfolio. Afterward, the authors used ordinary least square regression to the test the hypotheses based on a sample of 5,885 high-tech US SMEs registered in the Orbis database (Bureau van Dijk).
Results of the study reveal that the presence in foreign markets is positively associated with an SME’s financial performance, with the size of the corporate group enhancing this relationship, hence confirming the conjectures. Instead, the size of the alliance portfolio appears to not exert any moderating effect, in contrast with the last hypothesis.
Form a theoretical perspective, the authors dig into the literature assessing the performance outcomes of SMEs and contingent effects of the possibility to tap into external resources of other firms. By so doing, the findings support a specific stream of the literature in claiming the positive effects deriving from being part of a corporate group. Conversely, the findings seem to go in the opposite direction of the majority of the literature that claim a positive impact of alliances on financial performances, while supporting those studies stressing that alliances pose significant challenges for SMEs and should be carefully identified and managed.
This work was supported by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research under the Programme “Department of Excellence” Legge 232/2016 (Grant No. CUP – D94I18000260001).
Ardito, L., Galati, F., Messeni Petruzzelli, A. and Corvino, A. (2019), "Improving the financial performance of SMEs: The presence in foreign markets and the moderating role of corporate group and alliance portfolio size", Business Process Management Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BPMJ-03-2019-0127Download as .RIS
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