Decision-making in the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises

Beyrle, Theresa Lucia (2017). Decision-making in the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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As a result of the rise in globalisation, international markets have become important for SMEs. However, the study of internationalisation decisions has been limited, and no coherent body of theory has materialised so far. Furthermore, previous research has produced contradictory results. To further develop the mostly non-generalisable outcomes, research is required that (1) specifically conceptualises and measures decision-making in the context of SME internationalisation, and (2) which examines the direct and moderating influence of the context, as well as (3) sheds light on several decision outcomes. This thesis tests an integrative model incorporating a range of decision antecedents and outcomes using data from 218 questionnaires completed by German and Australian SMEs and drawing from multiple theoretical perspectives. The present study makes several substantial and original contributions to knowledge: (1) a valid measurement tool for procedural rationality is developed, which satisfies the special requirements of internationalising SMEs. This study presents evidence (2) that perceived environmental uncertainty does not influence the degree of procedural rationality and that (3) procedural rationality is positively related to a firm’s growth rate, but not to its internationalisation performance. An integrated model is crucial to reaching a comprehensive understanding of decision-making in SME internationalisation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Birmingham Business School, Department of Strategy and International Business
Funders: Other
Other Funders: The University of Birmingham
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management


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