Roles of knowledge and networks in SME internationalisation

Kumakura, Taeko (2013). Roles of knowledge and networks in SME internationalisation. University of Birmingham. M.Res.

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The objective of this research is to examine the roles of experiential knowledge and networks which are being developed by Japanese SMEs in the process of internationalisation. The internationalisation of firms, in general, has been recognised as a gradual process, referred to as the Uppsala model. However, the recent research has provided significant evidence of rapid and efficient internationalisation by small entrepreneurial firms, as well. Thus, this research intends to explain the phenomenon of the recent firm’s internationalisation more effectively by integrating the Uppsala model and other recent perspectives.

The qualitative method was employed, and 13 Japanese SMEs participated in this study. The findings in this study suggest that even SMEs lacking sufficient international experience internationalise, by using their networks. This is because their networks provide SMEs with experiential knowledge that actors in the networks have developed. SMEs utilise their networks not only at the beginning of internationalisation, but also after successfully penetrating several markets. The networks and knowledge acquired thereby result in the acquisition of new knowledge and resources, the establishment of credibility, the reduction of uncertainty and risk, and the creation of new network links. The end result is that SMEs can internationalise more efficiently.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Res.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Res.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions


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