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Internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises in the Baltic Sea Region

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  • Jansson, Hans
  • Sandberg, Susanne
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    Abstract

    We integrate internationalization process theory with industrial network theory to explain SME entry in emerging markets. We show that entry modes are complemented by entry nodes and entry processes. We develop a Five/Five Stages Model to consider the dynamic interaction between these factors. We undertook a survey of 116 SMEs in Southern Sweden trading with the Baltic States, Poland and Russia, as complemented by a case study of ten SMEs trading with Poland and an analysis of trade statistics of SMEs in Southern Sweden. We find that relationships are critical for entry as most firms rely on direct relationships with customers or dyads. The involvement of subsidiaries is uncommon, suggesting a low degree of FDI. Meanwhile, triads or indirect relationships through distributors or agents are more important. This low cost entry node creates a paradox in that the insufficient learning it provides about local markets obstructs further internationalization. By relating entries to the global internationalization process, we find that most SMEs trade with few countries in the region, indicating a low degree of regional internationalization.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 65-77

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:14:y:2008:i:1:p:65-77

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    Related research

    Keywords: Entry process Regional and global internationalization processes Network approach Emerging markets SMEs;

    References

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    4. Blomstermo, Anders & Eriksson, Kent & Lindstrand, Angelika & Sharma, D. Deo, 2004. "The perceived usefulness of network experiential knowledge in the internationalizing firm," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 355-373.
    5. Klaus E Meyer, 2001. "Institutions, Transaction Costs, and Entry Mode Choice in Eastern Europe," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(2), pages 357-367, June.
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    8. McDougall, Patricia Phillips & Oviatt, Benjamin M., 1996. "New venture internationalization, strategic change, and performance: A follow-up study," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 23-40, January.
    9. Shaker A Zahra, 2005. "A theory of international new ventures: a decade of research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 36(1), pages 20-28, January.
    10. Meyer, Klaus & Skak, Ane, 2002. "Networks, Serendipity and SME Entry into Eastern Europe," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 179-188, April.
    11. Forsgren, M., 2002. "The concept of learning in the Uppsala internationalization process model: a critical review," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 257-277, June.
    12. Sharma, D. Deo & Blomstermo, Anders, 2003. "The internationalization process of Born Globals: a network view," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 739-753, December.
    13. Kent Eriksson & Jan Johanson & Anders Majkg´┐Żrd & D Deo Sharma, 1997. "Experimental Knowledge and Costs in the Internationalization Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(2), pages 337-360, June.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gelbuda, Modestas & Meyer, Klaus E. & Delios, Andrew, 2008. "International business and institutional development in Central and Eastern Europe," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-11, March.
    2. Nader Ale Ebrahim & Shamsuddin Ahmed & Zahari Taha, 2009. "Virtual R & D teams in small and medium enterprises: A literature review," Post-Print hal-00593358, HAL.
    3. Barbara Francioni, 2011. "Changes in Entry Mode Strategy for Italian SMEs," Annals - Economic and Administrative Series -, Faculty of Business and Administration, University of Bucharest, vol. 5(1), pages 99-116, December.
    4. Ale Ebrahim, Nader & Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Taha, Zahari, 2010. "SMEs; Virtual research and development (R&D) teams and new product development: A literature review," MPRA Paper 26989, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Jun 2010.
    5. Nader Ale Ebrahim & Shamsuddin Ahmed & Zahari Taha, 2010. "Virtual R&D Teams and SMEs Growth: A Comparative Study Between Iranian and Malaysian SMEs," Post-Print hal-00593364, HAL.
    6. Vladimirov, Zhelyu & Simeonova-Ganeva, Ralitsa & Ganev, Kaloyan, 2012. "Interaction of leading and supporting factors for the SME competitiveness," MPRA Paper 37251, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Sandberg, Susanne, 2014. "Experiential knowledge antecedents of the SME network node configuration in emerging market business networks," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 20-29.
    8. Klaus Meyer & Ornjira Thaijongrak, 2013. "The dynamics of emerging economy MNEs: How the internationalization process model can guide future research," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 1125-1153, December.
    9. Silvia Rita Sedita & Ivan De Noni & Luciano Pilotti, 2014. "How do related variety and differentiated knowledge bases influence the resilience of local production systems?," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0180, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    10. Daria Volchek & Ari Jantunen & Sami Saarenketo, 2013. "The institutional environment for international entrepreneurship in Russia: Reflections on growth decisions and performance in SMEs," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 320-350, December.

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