The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad, Tage Koed Madsen, Erik S. Rasmussen and Per Servais
Chapter 6: Internationalization of SMEs from transition economies: institutional perspectives
Internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been actively studied in terms of international entrepreneurship since the 1990s (Coviello and McAuley, 1999; De Clercq, et al., 2005; Cieslik and Kaciak, 2009). The key assumption for understanding internationalization is as follows: in comparison with large companies the probability of SMEs’ internationalization is much lower because they are often constrained by scarce resources (Hollenstein, 2005). The research on internationalization determinants influencing SMEs includes the analysis of the impact of learning-oriented factors on firm readiness to enter a foreign market (Autio et al., 2000; Burpitt and Rondinelli, 2000; De Clercq et al., 2005); the analysis of social and business entrepreneurial networks during the process of internationalization (Yli-Renko et al., 2002; Kiss and Danis, 2010; Musteen et al., 2010; Tolstoy 2010; Ellis, 2011); the analysis of the impact of firms’ internal capabilities and resources on internationalization (Yiu et al., 2007; Hessels and Terjesen, 2010) and other factors. Concurrently, scholars pay more attention to the influence of institutional context and national business conditions on the speed and degree of SMEs’ internationalization (Descotes et al., 2007; Yamakawa et al., 2008; Cieslik and Kaciak, 2009).
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