IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/iburev/v27y2018i3p610-624.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Local formal interpersonal networks and SMEs internationalisation: Empirical evidence from the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Idris, Bochra
  • Saridakis, George

Abstract

This article uses data from the UK Longitudinal Small Business Survey (2015) to empirically test the relationship between local (formal and informal) interpersonal networks and exporting. Our results suggest that local interpersonal networks increase the likelihood of exporting. More importantly, we find that the role of formal interpersonal networks (e.g. accountants) on internationalisation increases as firm size increases, while the link between informal interpersonal networks (e.g. family) and exporting becomes weaker. We argue that larger firms have more complex operations and diverse structures than smaller firms that require the engagement of formal interpersonal networks to help with the internationalisation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Idris, Bochra & Saridakis, George, 2018. "Local formal interpersonal networks and SMEs internationalisation: Empirical evidence from the UK," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 610-624.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:610-624
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2017.10.010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593117304699
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 1999. "Intensity of Interaction in Suppy of Business Advice and Client Impact: A Comparison of Consultancy, Business Associations and Government Support Initiatives for SMEs," Working Papers wp142, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    2. Björkman, Ingmar & Kock, Sören, 1995. "Social relationships and business networks: The case of Western companies in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 519-535.
    3. Milanov, Hana & Fernhaber, Stephanie A., 2014. "When do domestic alliances help ventures abroad? Direct and moderating effects from a learning perspective," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 377-391.
    4. Robert Bennett & Paul Robson, 2003. "Changing Use of External Business Advice and Government Supports by SMEs in the 1990s," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(8), pages 795-811.
    5. 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.
    6. Musteen, Martina & Francis, John & Datta, Deepak K., 2010. "The influence of international networks on internationalization speed and performance: A study of Czech SMEs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 197-205, July.
    7. Watson, John, 2007. "Modeling the relationship between networking and firm performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 852-874, November.
    8. Zhang, Xiao & Ma, Xufei & Wang, Yue & Li, Xin & Huo, Dong, 2016. "What drives the internationalization of Chinese SMEs? The joint effects of international entrepreneurship characteristics, network ties, and firm ownership," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 522-534.
    9. Jarillo, J. Carlos, 1989. "Entrepreneurship and growth: the strategic use of external resources," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 133-147, March.
    10. P. J. A. Robson & R. J. Bennett, 2000. "The use and impact of business advice by SMEs in Britain: an empirical assessment using logit and ordered logit models," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(13), pages 1675-1688.
    11. Gordon Kingsley & Edward J. Malecki, 2004. "Networking for Competitiveness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 71-84, August.
    12. Gloria Ge & Hugh Wang, 2013. "The impact of network relationships on internationalization process: An empirical study of Chinese private enterprises," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 1169-1189, December.
    13. Svante Andersson & Natasha Evers & Clemence Griot, 2013. "Local and international networks in small firm internationalization: cases from the Rhône-Alpes medical technology regional cluster," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(9-10), pages 867-888, December.
    14. Robert Bennett, 2008. "SME Policy Support in Britain since the 1990s: What have We Learnt?," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 26(2), pages 375-397, April.
    15. Hoang, Ha & Antoncic, Bostjan, 2003. "Network-based research in entrepreneurship: A critical review," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 165-187, March.
    16. Steve Johnson & Don J Webber & Wayne Thomas, 2007. "Which SMEs Use External Business Advice? A Multivariate Subregional Study," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 39(8), pages 1981-1997, August.
    17. Peter W Liesch & Gary A Knight, 1999. "Information Internalization and Hurdle Rates in Small and Medium Enterprise Internationalization," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(2), pages 383-394, June.
    18. Andrea Bonaccorsi, 1992. "On the Relationship Between Firm Size and Export Intensity," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 23(4), pages 605-635, December.
    19. Baldwin, John R. & Raffiquzzaman, Mohammed, 1998. "The Effect of Technology and Trade on Wage Differentials Between Nonproduction and Production Workers in Canadian Manufacturing," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998098e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    20. Lianxi Zhou & Wei-ping Wu & Xueming Luo, 2007. "Internationalization and the performance of born-global SMEs: the mediating role of social networks," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(4), pages 673-690, July.
    21. Danny Mackinnon & Keith Chapman & Andrew Cumbers, 2004. "Networking, trust and embeddedness amongst SMEs in the Aberdeen oil complex," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 87-106, March.
    22. Donckels, Rik & Lambrecht, Johan, 1995. "Networks and Small Business Growth: An Explanatory Model," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 273-289, August.
    23. Christian Lechner & Michael Dowling, 2003. "Firm networks: external relationships as sources for the growth and competitiveness of entrepreneurial firms," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, January.
    24. Roper, Stephen & Love, James H., 2002. "Innovation and export performance: evidence from the UK and German manufacturing plants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1087-1102, September.
    25. Serra, Francisco & Pointon, John & Abdou, Hussein, 2012. "Factors influencing the propensity to export: A study of UK and Portuguese textile firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 210-224.
    26. Duchesneau, Donald A. & Gartner, William B., 1990. "A profile of new venture success and failure in an emerging industry," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 297-312, September.
    27. Oparaocha, Gospel Onyema, 2015. "SMEs and international entrepreneurship: An institutional network perspective," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 861-873.
    28. Robin Fincham, 1999. "The Consultant–Client Relationship: Critical Perspectives on the Management of Organizational Change," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 335-351, May.
    29. Hohenthal, Jukka & Johanson, Jan & Johanson, Martin, 2014. "Network knowledge and business-relationship value in the foreign market," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 4-19.
    30. 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.
    31. Jifeng Yu & Brett Anitra Gilbert & Benjamin M. Oviatt, 2011. "Effects of alliances, time, and network cohesion on the initiation of foreign sales by new ventures," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(4), pages 424-446, April.
    32. Nicole E Coviello, 2006. "The network dynamics of international new ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(5), pages 713-731, September.
    33. Paul Ellis, 2000. "Social Ties and Foreign Market Entry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 31(3), pages 443-469, September.
    34. Paul D Ellis, 2011. "Social ties and international entrepreneurship: Opportunities and constraints affecting firm internationalization," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(1), pages 99-127, January.
    35. Paul Westhead & Mike Wright & Deniz Ucbasaran, 2004. "Internationalization of private firms: environmental turbulence and organizational strategies and resources," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(6), pages 501-522, November.
    36. Tanya Menon & Jeffrey Pfeffer, 2003. "Valuing Internal vs. External Knowledge: Explaining the Preference for Outsiders," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 497-513, April.
    37. Daphne W Yiu & ChungMing Lau & Garry D Bruton, 2007. "International venturing by emerging economy firms: the effects of firm capabilities, home country networks, and corporate entrepreneurship," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 38(4), pages 519-540, July.
    38. Eberhard, Manuel & Craig, Justin, 2013. "The evolving role of organisational and personal networks in international market venturing," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 385-397.
    39. Shameen Prashantham & Julian Birkinshaw, 2015. "Choose Your Friends Carefully: Home-Country Ties and New Venture Internationalization," Management International Review, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 207-234, April.
    40. Chetty, Sylvie & Blankenburg Holm, Desiree, 2000. "Internationalisation of small to medium-sized manufacturing firms: a network approach," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 77-93, February.
    41. Natasha Evers & Colm O’Gorman, 2011. "Improvised internationalization in new ventures: The role of prior knowledge and networks," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(7-8), pages 549-574, September.
    42. Birley, Sue, 1985. "The role of networks in the entrepreneurial process," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 107-117.
    43. Almeida, Paul & Dokko, Gina & Rosenkopf, Lori, 2003. "Startup size and the mechanisms of external learning: increasing opportunity and decreasing ability?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 301-315, February.
    44. Hanna Komulainen & Tuija Mainela & Jaana Tahtinen, 2006. "Social networks in the initiation of a high-tech firm's internationalisation," International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(6), pages 526-541.
    45. Manolova, Tatiana S. & Manev, Ivan M. & Gyoshev, Bojidar S., 2010. "In good company: The role of personal and inter-firm networks for new-venture internationalization in a transition economy," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 257-265, July.
    46. Francioni, Barbara & Vissak, Tiia & Musso, Fabio, 2017. "Small Italian wine producers’ internationalization: The role of network relationships in the emergence of late starters," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 12-22.
    47. Stephanie A Fernhaber & Brett Anitra Gilbert & Patricia P McDougall, 2008. "International entrepreneurship and geographic location: an empirical examination of new venture internationalization," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(2), pages 267-290, March.
    48. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
    49. Zaefarian, Reza & Eng, Teck-Yong & Tasavori, Misagh, 2016. "An exploratory study of international opportunity identification among family firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 333-345.
    50. Shaker A Zahra, 2005. "A theory of international new ventures: a decade of research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 36(1), pages 20-28, January.
    51. Bruno Cassiman & Elena Golovko, 2011. "Innovation and internationalization through exports," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(1), pages 56-75, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Virginie Gallego-Roquelaure, 2020. "The emergence process of an international network of SMEs and the evolution of the leader’s role," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 44-62, March.
    2. Díez-Vial, Isabel & Montoro-Sánchez, Ángeles, 2020. "International gatekeepers: How to integrate domestic networks and international relations," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6).
    3. Kurt, Yusuf & Sinkovics, Noemi & Sinkovics, Rudolf R. & Yamin, Mo, 2020. "The role of spirituality in Islamic business networks: The case of internationalizing Turkish SMEs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(1).
    4. Saridakis, George & Idris, Bochra & Hansen, Jared M. & Dana, Leo Paul, 2019. "SMEs' internationalisation: When does innovation matter?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 250-263.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:3:p:610-624. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/133/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.