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Internationalization of knowledge-intensive SMEs: The role of network relationships in the entry to a psychically distant market

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  • Ojala, Arto

Abstract

Current research emphasizes the role of extant network relationships in the international development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Inevitably, these relationships are there, most likely, to provide linkages with and facilitate entry into psychically and geographically close markets. But what of firms entering psychically distant markets, for strategic reasons, as is usually the case with knowledge-intensive SMEs? Will existing network relationships remain important, and will they operate in a similar way. In this exploratory case study, in which eight Finnish software SMEs enter the Japanese market, the decision to enter these markets is found to be for strategic reasons rather than in order to follow network relationships. In addition, the way to enter these markets is not seen influenced by extant business relationships. It seems more reasonable to argue that the important relationships were actively utilized or developed to achieve the market entry, and were, in many cases, mediated relationships with non-profit government-owned consulting firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Ojala, Arto, 2009. "Internationalization of knowledge-intensive SMEs: The role of network relationships in the entry to a psychically distant market," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 50-59, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:50-59
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    References listed on IDEAS

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