Managerial characteristics and entrepreneurial internationalization: A study of Tunisian SMEs
Growing internationalization has sparked increasing interest in any factor which could strengthen a firm’s ability to develop a long-term competitive edge. One of the main factors which determine a firm’s international behavior is the characteristics of its management team. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the relationship between the management team’s characteristics and factors which favor a company’s development by examining the causal effects of managerial characteristics on innovative behavior of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking international market expansion. The conceptual model and its hypotheses are tested through an empirical study of a multi-industry sample of Tunisian SMEs. To our knowledge, this present study is the first to include Islamic ethics as a determining factor on managers’ behaviors as their companies enter the international market. Obtained by structural equation modeling technique, the key findings of this research show that personality traits, mental ability, and social networks of managers have a direct impact on a firm’s behavior as it enters the international context. Results also show that Islamic ethics seem to favor a creative context for innovative ideas in both local and foreign markets. Given the importance of the results analyzed, it could be suggested that Islamic ethics in organizations be implemented as a part of the education system in all Islamic societies. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014
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