IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The internationalization profiles of Portuguese SMEs


  • Pedro Oliveira

    (Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto)

  • Aurora A.C. Teixeira

    (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto; OBEGEF)


Given the (increasing) view point that firms’ internationalization strategy is the unique path to overcome the Portuguese dismissal economic growth, the present paper offers a comprehensive picture of the internationalization behavior of Portuguese SME, constituting therefore an important tool for political action. On the basis of the literature review and the factorial and cluster analyses performed, we propose three main segmentation criteria, one (‘Whole encompassing segmentation’: Experienced Medium Low-Tech firms; Low skill, Low-Tech firms; Young High-Tech firms) based on language skills, SME business experience, foreign market dependency, introduction of organizational innovation, exporting to ‘High income countries’ and education level of executive teams. The second segmentation proposal (‘Intermediate segmentation’: Young small-sized firms; Young micro-sized firms; Mature small-sized firms; Young medium-sized firms; Mature medium-sized firms; Foreign equity firms; Highly productive firms) has as criteria the firm size, the SME export intensity and industry. The last segmentation proposal (‘Parsimonious segmentation’: Medium-sized firms; Small-sized manufacturing firms; Micro-sized firms; Non-manufacturing small-sized firms; Export active small-sized firms; Potential exporters; Promising exporters firms) is based on SME size, business experience, foreign capital presence, and average productivity. Given the need for a parsimonius segmentation criterion, we convey that the most adequate segmentation criterion is the one combining SME size, export intensity and industry. This restricted number of criteria does not, however, affect the quality of the proposed SME segmentation, and has the advantage of being stasticaly adequate and user/cost friendly.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Oliveira & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2011. "The internationalization profiles of Portuguese SMEs," FEP Working Papers 439, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:fepwps:439

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


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

    Cited by:

    1. Prange, Christiane & Pinho, José Carlos, 2017. "How personal and organizational drivers impact on SME international performance: The mediating role of organizational innovation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1114-1123.
    2. Dina Cunha & Sandra T. Silva & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "Are Academic Spin-Offs necessarily New Technology-Based firms?," FEP Working Papers 482, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. Andrea Éltető, 2019. "Export of SMEs after the Crisis in Three European Peripheral Regions – a Literature Review," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 41(1), pages 3-26, March.

    More about this item


    Internationalization performance determinants; Portugal; Segmentation; SME;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:por:fepwps:439. 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: . General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.