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Chapter 4 Experiential Knowledge Profiles of Internationalising SMEs – The Ability to Sustain Market Positions in the New Turbulent Era of Global Business

Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm

ISBN: 978-1-78052-114-5, eISBN: 978-1-78052-115-2

ISSN: 1745-8862

Publication date: 20 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose – This study sets out to establish experiential knowledge profiles of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) entering emerging markets and to examine how the different abilities contained in these profiles impact the sustainability of market positions in the new turbulent era of global business.

Methodology – We analyse a sample of 203 entries into emerging markets by Swedish SMEs. The data collected on site at all sample firms is analysed in two sequential stages. First, an exploratory factor analysis is performed to derive four types of experiential knowledge. Second, a cluster analysis is performed to establish experiential knowledge profiles among the entering SMEs.

Findings – The result of the analysis shows that experiential knowledge is a multi-dimensional construct consisting of four main types. Moreover, emerging market entering SMEs are shown to develop different knowledge profiles. We suggest that Masters are well prepared for such periods. Learners most probably will experience high levels of uncertainty, whereas Country and Customer Experts face less uncertainty due to their specialisation on either host market or customer knowledge.

Originality – The chapter shows that the experiential knowledge base of emerging market entering SMEs is an important indicator of the readiness for turbulent times. Firms will be able to sustain market positions differently depending on which type of knowledge profile they belong to.

Keywords

Citation

Hilmersson, M., Jansson, H. and Sandberg, S. (2011), "Chapter 4 Experiential Knowledge Profiles of Internationalising SMEs – The Ability to Sustain Market Positions in the New Turbulent Era of Global Business", Verbeke, A., Tavares-Lehmann, A.T. and Van Tulder, R. (Ed.) Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm (Progress in International Business Research, Vol. 6), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 77-96. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1745-8862(2011)0000006007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited