University of Sussex
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Imprinting effects, managerial knowledge and the internationalisation of small and medium size enterprises from emerging economies

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posted on 2023-06-09, 21:14 authored by Sushma Kumari
This thesis examines the internationalisation behaviour of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) from emerging economies. In summary, the thesis comprises of five chapters: First, Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to the full thesis. Chapter 2 systematically reviews 55 selected articles, first examining the underlying reasons why SMEs in emerging markets internationalise, followed by their corresponding barriers. Concurrently, by examining theories that have been used to study the internationalisation of SMEs from emerging markets, findings from the literature are analysed. Findings suggest that through collaborations, in the form of networks, these SMEs have been able to indulge their resources, and in turn benefit from superior impacts on their overall performance. The management of information, knowledge and collaboration is therefore re-emphasised in this review, to ensure the success of emerging markets SMEs’ internationalisation. The analysis on this review provides valuable input on research suggestions and directions for future work in this area. Next, Chapter 3 discusses the issue of whether a firm’s ‘home’ environment influences SMEs’ scope of internationalisation. This chapter uses institutional and organisational imprinting theories to argue that emerging market SMEs born during the market liberalisation period are likely to have a greater scope of internationalisation than those founded in other periods. It also argues that this effect is moderated by the SMEs’ size, its dispersed ownership structure, and its geographical diversification. Hypotheses are tested using a sample of 177 Indian SMEs collected using secondary data from the Bureau Van Dijk’s ORBIS database. Results support the hypothesis on the relationship between home-market liberalisation imprinting and SMEs’ scope of internationalisation. Findings also support that the moderating effect of SMEs’ size, geographical diversification and ownership dispersion reduces the imprinting effect of the above relationship. Chapter 4 is about the relationship between SMEs’ managerial knowledge (i.e., foreign institutional knowledge, foreign business knowledge, foreign supply chain knowledge, and internationalisation knowledge) and their financial and non-financial performance. It examines the above link based on data collected from questionnaire survey responses of 295 SMEs from India involved in internationalisation. Research findings suggest that (1) SMEs’ managerial knowledge has a direct impact on their financial and non-financial performance, and that (2) SMEs financial performance plays a mediating role between their managerial knowledge and their non-financial performance. Hypotheses are based on the knowledge-based view of internationalisation, and the chapter provides deeper insights into the role of managerial knowledge on emerging-market SMEs’ internationalisation performance. Finally, Chapter 5 includes a discussion and conclusions of research findings from the PhD study. First, it describes how the research questions mentioned in the introduction chapter were addressed. Second, some suggestions and recommendations are given for continuation of the work presented in this thesis.


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University of Sussex

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