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Sunk internationalisation : small firms and global knowledge

Listed author(s):
  • Roberto Grandinetti
  • Enzo Rullani
Registered author(s):

    [fre] Ce papier aborde tout d'abord les raisons pour lesquelles les petites et moyennes entreprises sont absentes des théories des relations internationales. Cette absence n'est pas due au hasard et renvoie fondamentalement à l'attitude particulière des théories traditionnelles envers la PME. Selon ces approches, la firme est isolée de son système de relations et par conséquent du système de division du travail dans lequel elle s'inscrit. Les conditions nécessaires à la construction d'une théorie générale, applicable à la fois aux grandes et aux petites entreprises, sont alors définies. Dans cet esprit, les auteurs considèrent qu'une théorie générale de l'internationalisation des firmes doit s'appuyer sur la division du travail, des connaissances et des modes d'apprentissages entre les divers environnements nationaux et culturels. Petites et grandes entreprises contribuent de diverses manières à cette division. La dernière partie de l'article synthétise les enseignements que la théorie peut retirer des pratiques des PME dynamiques sur les marchés internationaux. [eng] In this paper, the reasons behind the absence of small firms in the theories of internationalisation are first of all examined. This scarce attention is not casual, but is due to a more fundamental and general distortion in conventional theory's attitude towards small firms : the isolation of the firm from its system of relations and, therefore, from its system of labour division. Then the conditions required to construct a general theory that will be valid for both large and small firms are defined. The authors sustain that a general theory of internationalisation is essentially a theory concerning the world-wide division of learning process between different national environments and cultures. Small and large firms can contribute in different ways to this task. The final part of the article brings together the lessons that the theory can learn from the experiences of those small firms that have shown dynamism on foreign markets.

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    Article provided by Programme National Persée in its journal Revue d'économie industrielle.

    Volume (Year): 67 (1994)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 238-254

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    Handle: RePEc:prs:recind:rei_0154-3229_1994_num_67_1_1521
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rei.1994.1521
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