Towards a Theory of Internationalization
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten
Chapter 40: Supporting SMEs in Scotland: Strategies for Internationalizing
Mike Danson, Ewa Helinska-Hughes, Michael Hughes and Geoﬀ Whittam Introduction Scotland is a constituent part of the United Kingdom that also comprises England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although Scotland is not a sovereign state in her own right, she is very much an independent nation with considerable political and economic autonomy. The Scotland Act of 1998 reinstated the Scottish Parliament after almost three centuries and returned power for Scots self-governance in areas of devolved competence over domestic aﬀairs. However, the Scottish legal system is the consequence of almost 1000 years of Scottish history and was one element of the Scottish institutional structure that remained independent. The provisions of the Scotland Act set out the legal framework for Scottish devolution within the UK. Devolution for Scotland has all the dimensions of regional autonomy, namely, administrative, legislative and executive powers over domestic social, economic and political arenas (Balci, 2003). Scotland is classed as a small country with a population of 5.1 million. This is an important dimension to be considered when addressing regional economic development policy (Felsenstein and Portnov, 2005), assumptions about SME internationalization processes, and SME internationalization support measures, as discussed later. Despite its relatively small size and an economic performance that has been below the UK national average during the past few decades, the Scottish economy did register improvement throughout the 1990s. In 1997, Scottish GDP was estimated at £56.2 billion (at current prices) which accounted for 8.3 per cent of UK GDP as a whole (Storie and Horne,...
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