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Emerging Paradigms in International Entrepreneurship

Edited by Marian V. Jones and Pavlos Dimitratos

Emerging Paradigms in International Entrepreneurship identifies key themes that collectively demonstrate the convergence of thinking at the interface between the disciplines of international business and entrepreneurship. These are: development of the field and the effects of international entrepreneurship on a new economy; conceptual and paradigmatic developments; international entrepreneurship and the internet as a developing research agenda; contacts links and networks as process driven internationalisation; cross-sectoral, cross-national and cross-cultural comparisons of entrepreneurship; and the experiential emphasis in entrepreneurial internationalisation.
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Chapter 5: The Export Problems of Internationalizing SMEs: Some Empirical Evidence using a ‘Critical Incident’ Technique

Fred Scharf, Jim Bell, Sharon Loane and Richard Fletcher


Fred Scharf, Jim Bell, Sharon Loane and Richard Fletcher INTRODUCTION One of the most frequently researched topics in the exporting literature is into the barriers and problems facing small internationalizing firms (see Miesenböck, 1988; Katsikeas, 1991; Leonidou, 1995, for comprehensive reviews of the literature). Typically and regardless of the location of the studies, most conclude that small firms face major problems in terms of the financial aspects of exporting (competitive pricing, delays in payment, foreign exchange risk, and so on). They also report difficulties in non-tariff barriers, import regulations, export documentation, obtaining suitable representation, modifying international product and/or communications strategies and overcoming cultural differences (Rabino, 1980; Bodur, 1986; Karafagliou, 1986; Bannock and Partners, 1987; Morgan, 1997; Crick and Chaudhry, 2000a; da Silva and da Rocha, 2001). However, the dominant use of positivist methodologies, a prevalence of single-country investigations and a general absence of qualitative triangulation mean that while the problems may have been adequately quantified, there is little real understanding of their context and nature, or of the underlying issues that need to be addressed. Thus, ensuing recommendations are often little more than vague attempts to provide guidance to small-firm decision-makers on alleviating current or anticipated export problems. They also tend to lack the depth of detail required by policy-makers in order to provide appropriate, adequate and timely support to such firms. Given these limitations, Easterby-Smith et al. (1994) suggest that mixed methodologies involving qualitative approaches can usefully be employed in conjunction with business surveys in...

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