Evidence from Around the World
Edited by Marian V. Jones, Pavlos Dimitratos, Margaret Fletcher and Stephen Young
Chapter 1: Introduction. SME Internationalization: Current Themes of Study and Modern Challenges
Marian V. Jones, Pavlos Dimitratos, Margaret Fletcher and Stephen Young The subjects of the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and international entrepreneurship are very exciting and topical ones. In particular the growth of the global knowledge economy is associated with the emergence of many intellectual-capital-intensive SMEs, whose adventurous and entrepreneurial strategies may lead to early and rapid internationalization and globalization. These phenomena are not confined to developed countries as, for example, the expansion of the Indian software industry in Bangalore and the rapid growth of private sector internationalized SMEs from China have revealed. However, international entrepreneurial behaviour is not limited to early internationalizing SMEs. Thus opportunity recognition, for example, may be associated with ongoing business operations, and hence include low-technology and traditional SMEs and cautious as well as ambitious firms. The internationalization of small firms has traditionally been capturing a major share of investigation on the international business agenda. Despite the fact that big multinationals have been increasingly engaging in the exchange of goods and services in the international business arena, significant market, resource or network opportunities appear for internationalized small firms also. It is of significant importance to their managers to find out which strategies work best in the international marketplace. In addition, policy-makers are keen to discover how they can assist their national small firms in their endeavours abroad. This edited research-based volume has its genesis in a one-day seminar organized by the Centre for Internationalization and Enterprise Research (CIER – http://www.gla.ac.uk/cier) at the University of...