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The internationalisation of 'high performing' UK high-tech SMEs: a study of planned and unplanned strategies

  • Crick, Dave
  • Spence, Martine
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    This paper discusses the findings from an investigation into the internationalisation strategies of 'high performing' UK high-tech small and medium-sized enterprises. Findings from 12 in-depth interviews suggest that strategy formation is not as systematic as some previous studies, notably those that focus on the 'stage' models, suggest. Management teams anticipate and react to internal and external factors in various ways; this affects the way in which opportunity recognition and exploitation takes place. This ranges from planned strategy formation through to opportunistic behaviour. The results suggest that while support for certain existing theories namely the resource based view, networking, and contingency factors was evident, no single theory could fully explain entrepreneurial decisions. In particular, 'serendipity' as part of the contingency view may be an under researched area. The findings support the literature that has suggested a more holistic view should be undertaken in international entrepreneurship research.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593104000733
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 167-185

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:14:y:2005:i:2:p:167-185
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    1. 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.
    2. Kumar, V. & Subramanian, Velavan, 1997. "A contingency framework for the mode of entry decision," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 53-72, April.
    3. Leonidas C Leonidou & Constatine S Katsikeas, 1996. "The Export Development Process: An Integrative Review of Empirical Models," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(3), pages 517-551, September.
    4. Gellatly, Guy & Baldwin, John R., 1998. "Are There High-tech Industries or Only High-tech Firms? Evidence from New Technology-based Firms," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998120e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Benjamin M Oviatt & Patricia Phillips McDougall, 1994. "Toward a Theory of International New ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(1), pages 45-64, March.
    6. C Patrick Woodcook & Paul W Beamish & Shige Makino, 1994. "Ownership-Based Entry mode Strategies and International Performance," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(2), pages 253-273, June.
    7. Boter, Hakan & Holmquist, Carin, 1996. "Industry characteristics and internationalization processes in small firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(6), pages 471-487, November.
    8. Warren J Bilkey & George Tesar, 1977. "The Export Behavior of Smaller-Sized Wisconsin Manufacturing Firms," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 93-98, March.
    9. McDougall, Patricia P., 1989. "International versus domestic entrepreneurship: New venture strategic behavior and industry structure," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(6), pages 387-400, November.
    10. Coviello, Nicole & Munro, Hugh, 1997. "Network relationships and the internationalisation process of small software firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 361-386, August.
    11. Otto Andersen, 1993. "On the Internationalization Process of Firms: A Critical Analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(2), pages 209-231, June.
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