Towards a Theory of Internationalization
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten
Chapter 26: Issues on the Internationalization of SMEs in Eastern Europe: The Case of Moldova
Sanford L. Moskowitz Small and medium-sized ﬁrm (SMEs) are gaining increasing attention from both the academic and the business community. The fall in trade barriers over the last few decades, the increasing importance for the world’s economies of innovation and new technology, and the general expansion in globalization has meant a growing role of small and medium-sized ﬁrms (SMEs) in international markets (Oviatt and McDougall, 1994, 1999). As part of these studies, investigations examine the rise within, and internationalization of, SMEs from a growing range of countries. In particular, they investigate how the internationalization of SMEs leads to ‘value creation’ and, in turn, economic growth in these countries. As the EU has expanded and become more integrated, Central and Eastern European SMEs ﬁnd themselves with greater access to international markets (Roolaht, 2002). Thus attention increasingly has been shifting to ways in which these socalled ‘transition economies’ (Hungary, Poland, The Czech Republic, the Baltic States, etc) can eﬀectively compete internationally with Western Europe and the US. The rise of entrepreneurial SMEs in Eastern Europe and their ability to operate in the global arena is seen as crucial to the eventual success of these countries (Dana, 2005). Certain recent theories of internationalization look at the reasons why SMEs increase the breadth and depth of their exporting activities, and in turn lead to economic growth within certain transition economies (Knight and Cavusgil, 1997). When barriers arise to internationalization, these investigations tend to focus on internal problems in a country, such as political...
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