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Article

John Mendy and Mahfuzur Rahman

The purpose of this paper is to investigate small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) internationalisation from an emerging market perspective. It explores and applies…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) internationalisation from an emerging market perspective. It explores and applies human resource management (HRM) processes to small businesses’ internationalisation efforts in order to ascertain the extent to which human- and technology-oriented barriers to internationalisation can be better understood and their processes better managed by SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The data collection and analysis involved a mixed method technique so as to identify the two dominant barriers faced by SMEs at the employer and employee levels. By using primary survey data obtained from 212 Bangladeshi SMEs, a partial least square based structural equation model was successfully validated and its development enhanced the comparison of processes involved in managing people and technology-type barriers.

Findings

The research results highlight the importance of HRM processes in the proper management of both human and technology-type barriers, which are equally as significant to SMEs’ internationalisation.

Practical implications

The results highlight the urgent need for governments in emerging economies to prioritise SMEs’ internationalisation and to dedicate resources and processes in order to effectively optimise economic and social dividends. The practical, theoretical and methodological implications of the paper raise opportunities for further research in SMEs’ internationalisation and people management processes and practices as well as new policy guidelines.

Originality/value

The examination of the link between humans and technology is a much under-represented area in developing countries and the actual contribution of effective HRM processes in the context of SMEs’ internationalisation is missing. Applying HRM processes to these aspects serves to deepen the knowledge of small businesses’ internationalisation efforts and the contributed model enhances professional practice and theory development in these disciplines and in emerging economies.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

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Book part

Gayathri Ranasinghe

Despite the increasing number of small and medium enterprises pursuing international opportunities and penetrating global markets, international entrepreneurship…

Abstract

Despite the increasing number of small and medium enterprises pursuing international opportunities and penetrating global markets, international entrepreneurship literature has paid limited attention to emerging markets and entrepreneur-specific factors that influence internationalisation. Traditional internationalisation theories and international entrepreneurship theories consider organisation as the unit of analysis and lack sensitivity to the context, which influences ventures’ foreign market decisions. Moreover, only a handful of studies related to internationalisation in emerging markets are available. To address this gap, this chapter explores barriers and drivers for SMEs’ internationalisation in Sri Lanka, an emerging market. Semi-structured interviews with forty Sri Lankan youth entrepreneurs suggest structural barriers consisting of access to capital, legal restrictions and lack of legal, institutional and government support were prominent. These barriers suggest a need for policy changes in the entrepreneurial environment, finance, entrepreneurial culture and skill development, technology, research and development and regional balance. The findings also indicate that information communication technology is a driver for internationalisation.

Details

International Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets: Nature, Drivers, Barriers and Determinants
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-564-1

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Article

Channappa Santhosh

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence of determinants on early internationalization in the context of an emerging economy, i.e. India.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the influence of determinants on early internationalization in the context of an emerging economy, i.e. India.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an ex post facto exploratory research using primary data collected from a sample of 102 exporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Bangalore.

Findings

The overall results reveal that it is the proactive entrepreneurs and their previous experience that determine the early internationalization of SMEs. Further, competitive constraint was a major obstacle to enter the international market at an early age for late internationalized SMEs.

Practical implications

The policy initiatives should aim to develop the international orientation of the entrepreneurs in the firm as a precursor for the formulation and subsequent implementation of internationalization strategies.

Originality/value

Although studies have been conducted on determinants and early internationalization, these are confined to a few dimensions, and none of the studies have looked into the issues affecting the early internationalization holistically and with respect to SMEs in India.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Book part

Jonas Eduardsen

This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate about how digitalisation affects the internationalisation of small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs). By applying the Uppsala…

Abstract

This chapter contributes to the ongoing debate about how digitalisation affects the internationalisation of small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs). By applying the Uppsala Internationalisation Process model, this chapter examines the impact of e-commerce on the internationalisation of SMEs. The study uses a unique dataset, which includes 14,513 SMEs across several sectors in 34 countries. The results show that firms using the Internet as a means to provide information about the firm exhibit a higher degree of internationalisation, while using the Internet to facilitate transactions was found to have a positive impact on the ratio of foreign sales to the total sales; however, these foreign sales are likely to be concentrated in less regions/markets. Furthermore, perceived export barriers were found to be a significant moderator of the effects of e-commerce usage on international intensity and international diversification. This suggests that e-commerce does not automatically facilitate the internationalisation of SMEs.

Details

International Business in the Information and Digital Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-326-1

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Article

Mahfuzur Rahman and John Mendy

People-related factors are very significant barriers for the internationalisation of large and small firms. Although the literature has identified a number of steps that…

Abstract

Purpose

People-related factors are very significant barriers for the internationalisation of large and small firms. Although the literature has identified a number of steps that SMEs need to take to increase their resilience in international markets, a study that identifies both the resilience and non-resilience barriers for SME internationalisation has not been undertaken in the scientific fields Human Resource Management and International Business. This paper aims to examine resilience and non-resilience barriers faced by SMEs in a developing country. In addition to the resilience literature, they examine non-resilience and combine its characteristics with resilience barriers from the Bangladeshi context.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative data analysis technique is used in this study to identify the impacts of these resilience/non-resilience issues’ internationalisation of SMEs both from micro and macro levels. This study has used primary data collected through the questionnaires from 212 Bangladeshi SMEs. Based on the data, this study has developed and validated partial least square-based structural equation model to assess the impacts of resilience factors on the internationalisation of SMEs with particular attention to entrepreneurial attractiveness.

Findings

It has successfully framed resilience vs non-resilience barriers of the internationalisation of SMEs as a second-order hierarchical reflective model and found that internationalisation of SMEs is significantly influenced by the resilience factors where language and related socio-cultural issues are marginally more significant.

Research limitations/implications

A couple of limitations include the following. First, concentrating on resilience and non-resilience serves as a limitation as the authors could have had resilience vs other categories such political, economic, legal and technological barriers. Second, they have mainly used cross-sectional data by using the survey method. This study could have been better served had they also tried to combine the use of qualitative analysis as attempted elsewhere.

Practical implications

Practically, this study researched in an area which was neglected and under-reported by existing studies. Its exploration showed that it has potential to contribute significantly to the policymakers and implementers, as it comprises SMEs and emerging countries. It has been noted in the literature that these economies and firms are less capable to conduct research independently, as they are resource-constrained.

Social implications

The results reveal that both resilience- and non-resilience-related barriers are significant to SMEs internationalisation. However, if policymakers were to give priority to any one of these, they should give marginally more priority to resilience-type barriers compared to the non-resilience barriers to internationalisation.

Originality/value

To date, studies on resilience have concentrated on identifying challenges faced by firms and what types of behaviours are required by individual members so as to enhance survival. However, there are no studies so far on identifying or even modelling both resilience and non-resilience barriers within the context of SMEs internationalisation in developing countries. This study combines resilience and non-resilience factors in a model to find out their contribution especially in the under explored area of non-resilience from a Bangladeshi contextual perspective that seeks to encourage international entrepreneurship.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article

Karise Hutchinson, Emma Fleck and Lester Lloyd‐Reason

This paper is the result of empirical research funded by The British Academy. The overall purpose of the study is to investigate the initial barriers to

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is the result of empirical research funded by The British Academy. The overall purpose of the study is to investigate the initial barriers to internationalization experienced and perceived by small retailers based in the UK and the role of government support in addressing such obstacles.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, multiple case research design is adopted. This involves semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with the senior manager/decision‐maker in six retail SMEs based in the UK and the analysis of company documentation and information from a range of secondary sources.

Findings

The findings from the case study data highlight internal and external barriers to internationalization relating to management: lack of vision, fear of losing control, lack of knowledge; the company: transfer of retail concept overseas, lack of resources, lack of consolidation in domestic market; and the external environment: legislation, currency, cultural differences and logistics. The findings also highlight an overall negative experience and perception of government support in assisting smaller retailers to overcome these barriers and aid expansion outside the UK.

Originality/value

The findings of this study provide important insight into the perceived and actual barriers encountered by retail SMEs. On one hand, the focus on SMEs provides fresh evidence to the retail internationalization literature, which has focused primarily on the barriers faced by large multinational retailers. On the other hand, the context of this study, yields new insight into research conducted in the field of SME internationalization, which has to date ignored smaller firms in the retail industry. The findings of this study also allow for recommendations to be made to both owner‐managers and government organizations.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

Constanza Bianchi, Jorge Carneiro and Rumintha Wickramasekera

Enhancing firm commitment towards internationalisation is an important step towards ensuring successful international performance. However, there is limited research on…

Abstract

Purpose

Enhancing firm commitment towards internationalisation is an important step towards ensuring successful international performance. However, there is limited research on this topic for emerging market firms. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that influence the internationalisation commitment of emerging market firms located in two Latin American countries with different institutional environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposes and tests a conceptual model that includes drivers and barriers of internationalisation commitment. Data were collected from Chilean and Brazilian firms. The model uses confirmatory factor analysis to develop the underlying multi-item constructs and structural equation modelling to test the model.

Findings

The results show that managers’ perceptions of firm resources and capabilities are significant drivers of internationalisation commitment in both countries. In addition, perceptions of internal firm-specific barriers, such as a manager’s lack of international experience and knowledge, are negatively related to internationalisation commitment in Chile, but not in Brazil. Finally, external environmental barriers are negatively related to internationalisation commitment in Brazil, but not in Chile.

Practical implications

The context for the study is Chile and Brazil. Both are important emerging markets in Latin America, with a strong focus on firm internationalisation. The research design is cross-sectional and so does not allow for any causal claims to be made. The findings have important implications for internationalisation efforts of managers and export promotion agencies of emerging markets with different institutional environments.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the relatively scant but increasing number of empirical studies which investigate emerging market internationalisation in Latin America.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Book part

Hannah Chaplin

Using data from a survey of a stratified random sample of 900 internationalising firms carried out in 2008, this chapter examines the barriers to internationalisation

Abstract

Using data from a survey of a stratified random sample of 900 internationalising firms carried out in 2008, this chapter examines the barriers to internationalisation faced by young innovative SMEs. The results indicate that young technology-intensive firms are more likely than non-technologically intensive firms to report barriers to internationalisation. When compared with the whole sample, young technology-intensive SMEs are significantly more likely to experience difficulties in obtaining basic information about doing business in an overseas country, and with the costs of doing business overseas. Factor analysis suggests that young technology-intensive SMEs which internationalise through non-traditional modes differ with regard to their perceptions of barriers to internationalisation from those who sell directly to customers overseas.

Details

New Technology-Based Firms in the New Millennium
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-315-5

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Article

Teresa Fayos Gardó, Haydeé Calderón García and Alejandro Mollá Descals

The need for retailers to internationalize is a growing reality in developed markets. Research examining problems in this process argues that the barriers to

Abstract

Purpose

The need for retailers to internationalize is a growing reality in developed markets. Research examining problems in this process argues that the barriers to internationalization should be studied based on the situation in each country, and that public organizations which implement policies to support internationalization do not always adapt to company needs. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the limited existing research on the subject of Spanish retail internationalization, analysing the problems faced by SMEs and the role of public support organizations in helping them.

Design/methodology/approach

By means of in-depth interviews with experts, the authors first, analysed the barriers faced by Spanish retailers in their internationalization processes, and found a predominance of endogenous as opposed to exogenous barriers. Second, the authors studied the appropriateness of support policies for retail needs and identified a significant mismatch.

Findings

Results show that the current international economic climate and restricted access to financing, combined with the small size of retailers, their lack of experience in internationalization processes, and the potential that still remains in the local market, are an inducement not to venture into other markets. Additionally, there is a lack of awareness on the part of public organizations about the reality and needs of the retail sector. In addition, the study of retail internationalization as a discipline seems to be in constant flux.

Research limitations/implications

It would be pertinent to consider the findings in the light of a number of limitations of the study. The sample did not consist of retailers but its representatives. The reliance upon a single nation sample could also be viewed as a limitation.

Practical implications

The authors provide Spanish retailers with ideas about the problems they are facing which they will find useful as a starting point for strategic thinking about their internationalization prospects.

Social implications

As for Spanish promotion organizations, they should consider the results of this research and further study the needs of retailers in their internationalization processes while also identifying which companies have the greatest potential for operating in foreign markets.

Originality/value

It is the first time a research for Spain is conducted that highlights the needs of developing a plan to support the internationalization of the retail sector and provide specific lines of action.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

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Article

Susan Freeman and Mark Sandwell

The purpose of this paper is to identify key barriers to internationalisation in emerging markets (EMs) for professional service firms (PSFs) from developed markets and to

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify key barriers to internationalisation in emerging markets (EMs) for professional service firms (PSFs) from developed markets and to explain how PSFs use social networks to participate within EMs of Asia and overcome these barriers. The paper aims to provide a framework of this process.

Design/methodology/approach

A case‐based research design is used to explore key professional service industries (legal, media consulting and financial), providing three case studies, in a developed market (Australia) that are expanding rapidly into EMs (Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) of Asia.

Findings

The elements of orientating, positioning and timing were identified as critical in the context of foreign entry, with the network perspective providing a useful theoretical explanation of this process and underpinning the conceptual framework. Key barriers to internationalisation in EMs for PSFs from developed markets are identified: face‐to‐face communication, language, cultural, work practices and government regulations. How PSFs use social networks to participate within EMs of Asia to overcome these barriers reveal that social network elements are critical to FME specifically into EMs: orientation, positioning and time.

Research limitations/implications

While the conceptual framework of key barriers and how PSF overcame them is theoretically supported by the findings, the framework could be tested more appropriately through an extended number of cases prior to a survey to provide generalizability.

Practical implications

Social networks were used by managers of PSFs to secure market knowledge and to act as a basis for strategic decision making, with foreign network actors a key influence in the foreign market entry process.

Originality/value

The paper provides a framework for identifying key barriers to internationalisation in EMs for PSFs.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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