The purpose of this paper is to understand the contribution of digitalisation, channel integration and sustainability to the improvement of industrial small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)' international performance.
Based on a review of the literature, the authors developed a research model that included six hypotheses about the relationships between the constructs studied: digitalisation, channel integration, sustainability and international performance. The structural equation model was tested with data from a survey answered by 200 exporting industrial SMEs, by means of partial least squares regression.
The digitalisation of SMEs contributes positively to channel integration and sustainability, while channel integration is positively related to their international performance. Although a direct relationship between digitalisation and international performance was not observed, a mediated relationship through channel integration was confirmed. Additionally, the multi-group analysis according to the level of internationalisation revealed that sustainability positively influences the international performance of companies with a high degree of internationalisation.
This study is original insofar as it examined the role of digitalisation in the international performance of industrial SMEs, considering the mediating role of sustainability and channel integration.
Funding: The study was funded by Consolidated Research Group funded by the Conselleria d'Innovació, Universitats, Ciència i Societat Digital of the Generalitat Valencianaty [AICO2021/144/GVA].
Fayos, T., Calderón, H., Cotarelo, M. and Frasquet, M. (2023), "The contribution of digitalisation, channel integration and sustainability to the international performance of industrial SMEs", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 624-646. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-06-2022-0159
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