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Article

Thomas Peschken, Paurav Shukla, John Lennon and Shirley Rate

The paper aims to explore the internationalisation decision-making of small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner/managers. Specifically, structural alignment theory…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the internationalisation decision-making of small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owner/managers. Specifically, structural alignment theory (SAT) and regulatory focus theory (RFT) are utilised to examine the concept of opportunity recognition in the context of internationalisation choices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is conceptual in nature, and an integrative cognitive model of internationalisation choice decisions is developed based on SAT and RFT, underpinned by a critical review of the international entrepreneurship (IE) literature.

Findings

Scenarios are identified in which the structure of available information may affect the decision-evaluation process in terms of cognitive resource requirements. Further, the SME owner/manager’s motivational goal orientation is suggested to moderate the role of the information structure in line with IE literature. A conceptual model and propositions are presented.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual model and the propositions arising from the discussion in this paper offer new directions of research to explore SME internationalisation.

Originality/value

This paper offers a cognitive perspective of SME internationalisation. This paper offers insights for policymakers, SME owner/managers, practitioners and researchers alike. For internationalisation decisions, this paper highlights the potential impact of the structure of information that is made available to SME owner/managers by industry or policy bodies; further, the moderating influence of motivational goal orientation may inform policy on how information should be presented to SME owner/managers to aid their decision-making.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article

Radityo Putro Handrito, Hendrik Slabbinck and Johanna Vanderstraeten

This study aims to explore how an entrepreneur's implicit need for achievement and risk reception contribute to internationalization performance.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how an entrepreneur's implicit need for achievement and risk reception contribute to internationalization performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study involves 176 Indonesian entrepreneurs. The authors use the Operant Motive Test to assess the entrepreneur's implicit needs and apply hierarchical Tobit regression to assess the interplay between implicit need for achievement, risk perception and internationalization.

Findings

The authors show that an entrepreneur's basic needs and risk perception play an essential role in SME internationalization. More specifically, the authors reveal a positive association between the entrepreneur's need for achievement and small and medium enterprises (SME) internationalization. They also show a U-shaped relationship for the moderation effect of risk perception on this relationship. That is, for a high need for achievement-motivated entrepreneur, the level of internationalization is at the highest when risk perception is either very low or very high.

Originality/value

In this study, the authors argue that analyses at the entrepreneur's individual level are indispensable to better understand firm internationalization. The authors argue that the role of psycho-cognitive characteristics of individuals (such as motivational dispositions) received too little attention, compared to factors at the firm or environmental level. This study examines such personality aspects and finds that implicit need for achievement and risk perception impact SME internationalization.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article

Henry Langseth, Michele O'Dwyer and Claire Arpa

This study applies Oviatt and McDougall’s (2005) model of forces influencing the speed of internationalisation to small, export oriented enterprises. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

This study applies Oviatt and McDougall’s (2005) model of forces influencing the speed of internationalisation to small, export oriented enterprises. The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of the forces enabling, motivating, mediating and moderating internationalisation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the manner in which these forces manifest themselves in the market.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach utilising eight case studies within Norway and Ireland was adopted in order to facilitate theory building required for this study.

Findings

The findings demonstrate that four forces in particular are found to be strongly significant to the speed of internationalisation among the case SMEs: the enabling force of technology, the mediating force of entrepreneurial actor perceptions/owner-managers’ global vision and the moderating forces of foreign market knowledge and tie strength in networks.

Practical implications

The empirical evidence has several implications for managers and policy regarding influencing the speed of internationalisation process. The enabling force (technology) has implications for government in their support of the SME macro environment. The motivating force (competition) has implications for government, in understanding what motivates entrepreneurs to enter international markets. The two moderating forces (foreign market knowledge and network tie strength) have implications for managers and can be leveraged through product innovation, increased focus on intellectual property rights for better protection against copycats, and through active and deliberate international networking.

Originality/value

The paper suggests adjustments to Oviatt and McDougall’s (2005) model, permitting researchers to gain an in-depth understanding of the complex reality of SME internationalisation.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article

Robert Bowen

This study offers a comparative analysis of attitudes to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation in two different cultural settings, Wales and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study offers a comparative analysis of attitudes to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation in two different cultural settings, Wales and Brittany. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an in-depth investigation of attitudes to internationalisation among food and drink SMEs using mixed methods and focussing on both SMEs that internationalise and those that do not. This leads to a more comprehensive understanding of the issues influencing attitudes to SME internationalisation, which could facilitate policy development for such companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods are used in this study to provide a richness of data in investigating this complex issue. The majority of research in this field has focussed on quantitative research, however, this study heeds calls for more plurality in research on SME internationalisation to achieve a more detailed understanding of the issues affecting SME internationalisation. This is achieved through an online questionnaire of 169 food producing SMEs in Wales and Brittany, informed by International Entrepreneurship theory. A second phase of semi-structured interviews provides more context to the questionnaire findings, with 37 interviews conducted with respondents from the questionnaire. Each phase was conducted independently, with findings triangulated for further investigation.

Findings

Companies of all characteristics have the ability to internationalise; however, cultural differences were observed between Wales and Brittany in both attitudes and the conditions for internationalisation. Breton SMEs displayed more proactivity to internationalisation, stemming from more favourable conditions, a greater reputation for food and more confidence. Conversely, Welsh SMEs were more reactive, relying on government support in encouraging internationalisation. Breton SMEs also benefitted from the strong cultural identity of food products, especially through the Produit en Bretagne brand and its network of producers.

Originality/value

The study makes both a theoretical and methodological contribution to research on SME internationalisation. The comparative study of Wales and Brittany is significant in understanding cultural influences to internationalisation in two regions where the food and drink industry represents an important part of the economy. The focus on a single industry is significant in understanding the particularities of internationalisation within an industrial context, as findings from studies across multiple industries are considered less generalisable. A methodological contribution is sought through using mixed methods to provide a more comprehensive study.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article

Sami Basly

Owing to its specificities, the family small and medium enterprise (SME) shows a particular behavior as for the creation, development, sharing, protection and transmission…

Abstract

Purpose

Owing to its specificities, the family small and medium enterprise (SME) shows a particular behavior as for the creation, development, sharing, protection and transmission of knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to study the specificities of the processes of knowledge creation and development in family firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a questionnaire, hypotheses of the model were tested. The study is based on 118 firms belonging to various industries. After evaluating the reliability and validity of the items through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the model was tested through structural equation modeling (LISREL).

Findings

The model retained induces the following conclusions. Internationalization knowledge positively influences internationalization degree of the firm. The conservatism of family SME does not directly influence the level of internationalization knowledge. The influence of conservatism on internationalization knowledge is exerted only through the decisional dimension of independence orientation. The independence orientation of family SME, then with its two dimensions simultaneously (decisional and resource independence), does not significantly influence internationalization knowledge. Contrary to decisional independence which influences indirectly the degree of internationalization (through the intermediation of internationalization knowledge), resource independence influences directly the dependant variable. The mediation of internationalization knowledge is thus not totally proven. Social networking positively influences the amount of internationalization knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

A major weakness is the absence of a synchronic approach as the dependent and independent variables are measured at the same moment. A more longitudinal approach would be valuable to analyze the causal relationships between the independent variables and internationalization knowledge and internationalization degree. A second limitation is that the characteristics of the sample may limit the generalizability of the results.

Originality/value

To the author's knowledge, the paper is the first of its kind to examine the knowledge‐based processes in family businesses.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article

Eric Costa, António Lucas Soares and Jorge Pinho de Sousa

This paper aims to study and explore the activities and the use of institutional network resources by industrial business associations (IBAs) to support and facilitate…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study and explore the activities and the use of institutional network resources by industrial business associations (IBAs) to support and facilitate internationalisation processes of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other goals are to understand the internationalisation follow-up process and the future vision of IBAs to improve this internationalisation support.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on empirical evidence and following an abductive approach, this paper presents a qualitative exploratory field research, providing insights from interviews performed with 20 IBAs based in Portugal.

Findings

The findings suggest that the current institutional network support to internationalisation is mainly provided through promotional activities; counselling, training and technical and legal support; information sharing; and cooperation with other institutional entities. Each support category is explored and explained and a new conceptual model is developed to represent these findings. Regarding the internationalisation follow-up, IBAs provide a continuous support for the international operations by using some instruments and mechanisms to assist SMEs after an internationalisation initiative. Finally, collaboration and the use of new information technology are the main aspects to improve IBAs’ support in a near future.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative methodological approach adopted in this work can imply a larger difficulty to obtain a generalisation of the findings. Another limitation is that the participating IBAs are based in only one country.

Practical implications

Findings can help SMEs to understand the functioning and the benefits of using the institutional network resources of IBAs in overcoming their lack of resources to operate in international markets. IBAs can also understand their current position in terms of internationalisation support and think about new ways for improving this support.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to a better understanding of the influence of institutional networks in SME internationalisation by exploring the specific role of one of the institutional actors rather than focusing on the institutional network as a whole. Therefore, this study details the current activities and uncovers other types of support provided by IBAs that are not based on export promotion programmes. New knowledge is also obtained about the specific information content, information sources and means and channels of information sharing used by IBAs for supporting SME internationalisation.

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Book part

Lasse Torkkeli, Niina Nummela and Sami Saarenketo

The concept of global mindset was introduced more than a decade ago as a prerequisite for successful internationalisation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)…

Abstract

The concept of global mindset was introduced more than a decade ago as a prerequisite for successful internationalisation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the pace of global integration and globalisation has accelerated, and complexity has increased. Therefore, the authors ask: To what extent is global mindset still a critical driver for successful international expansion of SMEs? We are particularly interested in learning how global mindset is reflected in the decision making of internationalising SMEs in Finland. To answer this question, we test four propositions which concern the relationship between global mindset, decision-making logic and SME performance. Our empirical study is based on a cross-sectional sample of Finnish SMEs, and the authors find that global mindset seems to be linked to both effectual decision-making logic and improved international performance. On the other hand, in our data set effectual decision making and SME performance were not linked; thus, global mindset predicts international rather than overall performance of the Finnish SMEs. Overall, this study confirms the continued relevance of the global mindset concept. Furthermore, it indicates the connection between global mindset and entrepreneurial decision making and that their joint effect is relevant when explaining entrepreneurial internationalisation.

Details

Key Success Factors of SME Internationalisation: A Cross-Country Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-277-8

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Book part

M. H. Bala Subrahmanya

This paper probes the factors which influence (i) the degree of internationalization and (ii) the subsequent economic performance, achieved by SMEs in India. These two…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper probes the factors which influence (i) the degree of internationalization and (ii) the subsequent economic performance, achieved by SMEs in India. These two objectives have been examined in the context of firm level push/pull factors, barriers/challenges, firm resources, and strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on empirical data gathered through a semi-structured questionnaire from 84 exporting SMEs in the (most internationalized) engineering industry of Bangalore in India during January 2012 to February 2013. The two key research questions have been analyzed using stepwise multiple regression models. The degree of internationalization is defined as the percentage of foreign sales in total sales turn over, as of 2010/2011, and economic performance is represented by (i) the value of sales turnover as of 2010/2011, and (ii) growth of sales turnover from inception till 2010/2011, alternatively. Firm level variables (age of firms, firm size, nature of firm organization), entrepreneurial characteristics (age of the founder and education), time taken to enter the export market for the first time, mode of entry, degree of initial internationalization, years of experience in the international market, whether operated in the international market continuously or not, number of markets currently exported, and number of learnings made are used as the possible explanatory factors for the first objective. In addition, current degree of internationalization is used as the possible explanatory factor for the current level of economic performance whereas initial degree of internationalization for the growth of sales turnover.

Findings

It is firm age, size and experience, and education of the CEO which influenced the degree of internationalization of SMEs. In addition, continuous operation in the international market after an early entry, leading to more learnings positively influenced the degree of internationalization. Further, those who adopted the MNC route as the mode of entry achieved a higher degree. However, what is more significant is the degree of initial internationalization achieved by the SMEs which had strongly influenced its current degree of internationalization. All these bring out that (i) firm level resources & competence and (ii) firm level strategy, together significantly contributed to the degree of internationalization achieved by the SMEs in an emerging economy like India. However, the degree of internationalization had a negative influence on the current sales turnover achieved. Whereas those SMEs, older in age, organized as private limited companies and led by more qualified CEOs, which catered to more number of countries could achieve a higher sales turnover. But degree of internationalization did not have any influence on firm growth. Only younger and smaller firms grew faster than older and larger firms, irrespective of the degree of internationalization.

Research implications

The above results bring out that to achieve a larger firm size, entering the international market need not be the only route, in the current era of globalization. It is possible to achieve a higher economic performance even with a domestic market focus, especially when the domestic market is registering a higher growth compared to the international market.

Originality

The degree of internationalization and its impact on the economic performance of SMEs have been hardly probed adequately based on empirical data in the context of emerging economies. This study fills this void. It reveals that in the era of globalization where domestic firms might have to face competition though not as much as those which operate in the international market, a larger firm size can be achieved with larger focus on the domestic market and with limited focus on the international market.

Details

Emerging Market Firms in the Global Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-066-7

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Article

José Carlos Pinho

This paper aims to analyse the growing body of literature on small and medium‐sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation by considering a set of propositions regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyse the growing body of literature on small and medium‐sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation by considering a set of propositions regarding the drivers and inhibitors of an entry mode decision.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a quantitative methodological approach, a survey was applied to a sample of SMEs to empirically test the proposed conceptual model. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the data.

Findings

Results from the study revealed the importance of the firm's international experience, its ability to innovate, the market potential for growth and market‐specific knowledge as key predictors for choosing an equity‐entry mode. SMEs are rather flexible in nature and tend to perform activities with low‐cost structures, thereby minimising the relevance of the perceived risk associated with the host country.

Practical implications

Empirical findings are relevant as they may assist SME managers to make financially sound entry mode choices, which, if effectively made, enable a firm to gain important competitive advantages.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the current body of knowledge in the area of SME internationalisation by combining two key dimensions of Dunning's eclectic framework, while also including the managerial and ownership structure characteristics, whose dimensions have been assumed to be important drivers for SME internationalisation.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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Article

Edith Olejnik and Bernhard Swoboda

The purpose of this paper is to identify the internationalisation patterns of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) quantitatively, to describe SMEs as they follow…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the internationalisation patterns of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) quantitatively, to describe SMEs as they follow different patterns over time and to discuss the determinants of these patterns through empirical study.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a questionnaire survey among mature German SMEs (n=674). To identify internationalisation patterns, a latent class clustering approach was applied. Because of the large sample, a multinomial logistic regression analysis could be used to analyse the factors influencing these patterns.

Findings

The authors empirically find three internationalisation patterns: traditionals, born globals and born‐again globals. Comparing modern SMEs with the same SMEs from ten years ago, it was found that firms may change their patterns. Moreover, the patterns are determined by international orientation, growth orientation, communication capability, intelligence generation capability and marketing‐mix standardisation.

Research limitations/implications

Combining elements of the Uppsala model (countries and operation modes) and born global research (time lag and foreign sales ratio), three internationalisation patterns of established international SMEs from traditional sectors were identified empirically. Because of the multidimensional nature of internationalisation, the patterns may change over time. Different firm‐level factors determine the internationalisation patterns.

Originality/value

Instead of applying “arbitrary” thresholds, the paper provides a quantitative approach to identifying internationalisation patterns. These patterns confirm the three main internationalisation pathways discussed in the international marketing literature. The paper further advances the field by describing the patterns, showing evidence that the patterns may cross over time and providing information on the factors that influence the patterns.

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