The Internationalization of Small and Medium-Sized Firms: The Role of Organizational Learning Effort and Entrepreneurial Orientation
AbstractThis paper contributes to the existing research by integrating the notions of organizational learning and entrepreneurial orientation into the body of international entrepreneurship. Our primary framework combines learning theory and the new venture theory of internationalization to study the extent to which small and medium-sized companies engage in international activities. In order to focus on firms likely to engage in significant cross-border activity, we used a survey instrument to collect data from small and medium-sized firms located in Belgium. We found that the firms’ international learning effort and entrepreneurial orientation are positively associated with internationalization intent whereas domestic learning effort is negatively related with internationalization intent. Overall, our results suggest (1) that intensive knowledge renewal and exploitation regarding foreign markets and the internationalization process itself may increase internationalization by affecting the perceptions of opportunities offered by further international expansion, and (2) that firms with an entrepreneurial mindset may be more likely to develop a long-term, substantial presence in the international arena, compared to firms that are more reactive or conservative. However, our results also suggest that firms that invest in domestic learning activities, as opposed to international learning activities, may be less likely to internationalize further.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 03/212.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2003
Date of revision:
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