The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Marian V. Jones and Pavlos Dimitratos
Chapter 2: Internationalization and the Performance of the Small Firm: A Review of the Empirical Literature between 1996 and 2001
2. Internationalization and the performance of the small ﬁrm: a review of the empirical literature between 1996 and 2001 Tatiana S. Manolova and Ivan M. Manev INTRODUCTION The volume of literature on the internationalization of new and small companies has been burgeoning recently, but most of it has focused on its antecedents and relatively little on the outcomes of internationalization. And, in examining performance outcomes, previous research has studied most often the international performance rather than the overall performance outcomes. As a result, less is known about the effects of internationalization on the performance and long-term survival of the small company. This paucity of research is surprising, given the debate in the international marketing and international entrepreneurship literatures on the appropriateness of internationalization strategies for the small company. While some researchers argue that internationalization is an important avenue for growth through geographic expansion (Autio et al., 2000) which promotes the development of skills and competencies through organizational learning (Barkema and Vermeulen, 1998; Zahra et al., 2000), thus positively inﬂuencing proﬁtability and survival (Oviatt and McDougall, 1997); others maintain international involvement may spread the constrained resources of the small company too thinly (Bradley and Mitchell, 1986) and eventually jeopardize organizational survival (Vermeulen and Barkema, 2000; Benito and Welch, 1997; Mitchell et al., 1992; Newbould et al., 1978). Empirical support on the impact of internationalization on the performance of the small company is mixed (Mitchell et al., 1992; McDougall and Oviatt, 1996). Research from both international entrepreneurship and international marketing...
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