Internationalization of small firms: A case study of Turkish small- and medium-sized enterprises

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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors that underlie the internationalization of small-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to identify the most significant factors/variables that are related to the internationalization process of these firms in Turkey. Design/methodology/approach - The data for the analysis conducted in this study were collected from 471 owners/managers of SMEs in Turkey. This study examined the relationship of all variables in the internationalization of the small firms through use of Pearson and regression analysis. Findings - This study showed that the ability to be an exporter was related to the business age and size, the intensity of R&D, the growth rate of the domestic markets and the planning for export, pursued by SMEs. Research limitations/implications - The cross-sectional nature of this study may have limitations in regards to observing the direction and causality of some of the variables. The caution should be also taken when generalizing the findings beyond the scope of this study. The findings are limited to Turkish SMEs. Originality/value - A model in this study combines three classes of variables - firm, environmental, and management. Most empirical research has been concentrated on investigating one of these variables in relation to international performance. Earlier empirical research also concentrates on established larger firms and has not taken small firms into account. This study fills in a gap in the empirical research in terms of combining these variables to explain the internationalization process and studying the effect of these variables on smaller firms.


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Turkey, Small to medium-sized enterprises, International business


European Business Review

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