Chapter 8: Antecedents and consequences of SME importers’ relationship with foreign suppliers: a transaction cost approach
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been recognized as key drivers of economic development in developing economies (Horng and Chen, 1998) and they connect developing nations to the global economy through their presence in international business activities. Scholarly endeavours to identify the major factors that influence the behaviour and performance of SME exporters are well documented in the literature (e.g. Ghauri et al., 2003). An extensive review of the literature reveals that scholars use different theories of international business to explain and theorize SMEs’ international behaviour in different contexts (Brouthers and Nakos, 2004; Ruzzier et al., 2006). A review of the literature also revealed two important gaps. First, it revealed a noticeable imbalance in the use of theories to explain SMEs’ import behaviour, especially those from developing and emerging countries. For instance, in a recent study Ruzzier et al. (2006) integrated the application of different internationalization theories in an SME context and revealed that only a few scholars have used the transaction cost approach (Williamson, 1975; 1985).
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