Overcoming Resource-Constraints through Internationalization? An Empirical Analysis of European SMEs
Previous research has indicated that firms can use internationalization as a strategy to access or build up resources. Such a strategy may be of particular interest or even necessary (for example to survive or grow) for firms that lack specific resources. Based on resource dependency theory and the model for entrepreneurial internationalization this paper investigates whether resource scarcities in terms of labor, finance and technology increase the likelihood for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to aim to access or accumulate these specific resources through internationalization. A number of hypotheses are tested using firm-level data from the ENSR Enterprise Survey 2003 for 7,673 SMEs located in 18 European countries. The results indicate that perceived resource constraints in terms of labor and finance spur SMEs to undertake international activities with the aim to access or accumulate labor, respectively finance. It is also found that among internationally active SMEs perceived constraints in terms of labor, finance and new technology increase the probability of SMEs using their international activities as a means for accessing or acquiring these scarce resources.
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