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The internationalization of SMEs and international entrepreneurship: a critique and policy implications

[journal article]

Wright, Mike; Westhead, Paul; Ucbasaran, Deniz

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Abstract An important policy challenge is the provision of support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking to internationalize. To guide practitioner resource allocation decisions, recent conceptual and empirical developments relating to SME internationalization are discussed. Different perspectives on internationalization are critically reviewed with regard to the following seven themes: the timing of internationalization; the intensity and sustainability of internationalization; the mode of internationalization; the influence of domestic environmental context on internationalization; the leveraging of external resources to internationalize; the unit of analysis; and the effect of internationalization on SME performance. Assuming an interventionist stance, a case for more balanced policy support towards SME internationalization is suggested that takes into account the diversity of SMEs (and entrepreneurs). Implications for researchers are discussed.
Classification Political Economy; Economic Policy
Free Keywords internationalization; small and medium-sized enterprises; policy implications
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages p. 1013-1029
Journal Regional Studies, 41 (2007) 7
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)