SME internationalisation from a network perspective : an empirical study on a Finnish-Greek business network
Elo, Maria (2005-04-14)
Åbo Akademis förlag - Åbo Akademi University Press
Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaistakäyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The study examines the internationalisation process of a contemporary SME firm and explores the impact of its business network on this development. The objective of the study is to understand SME internationalisation and its dynamics from a network perspective. The purpose of this research project is to describe and explore the development process of a firm and its business network by identifying the changes, critical events and influence factors that form this development. It is a qualitative case study, which focuses on a Finnish focal firm and its respective business network as it expands into the Greek market. It is a longitudinal research process, which covers a period of time from 1994 to 2004. The empirical study concentrates on the paper trading and converting business. The study builds on the network theory and the framework provided by Johanson and Mattsson's (1988) model on network internationalisation. The incremental internationalisation theories and network theories form the theoretical focus. The research project is organised according to a process view. The focal firm evolves from a domestically-oriented small subsidiary into an internationally experienced company, which has activities in several market areas and numerous business networks in various market segments and product categories. The findings illustrate the importance of both the domestic and foreign business network context in a firm's internationalisation process. The results of the study suggest theoretical modifications on a firm's internationalisation process by broadening the perspective and incorporating the strategic context of a firm. The findings suggest that internationalisation process is a non-linear process, which does not have a deterministic order in its development. The findings emphasise the significance of relational networks, both managerial and entrepreneurial, for establishing position in foreign markets. It implies that a firm's evolution is significantly influenced by its business network and by critical events. Business networks gain coherence due to common goals and they use accumulated capabilities to exploit market opportunities. The business network sets constraints and provides opportunities, which makes the related decision making strategically important. The firm co-evolves with its business network. The research project provides an instrumental case study with a description of an SME internationalisation process. It contributes to existing knowledge by illustrating dynamics in an international business network and by pinpointing the importance of suppliers, customers, partners, ownerships and competition to the internationalisation process.
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