Entrepreneurial orientation, social capital, and the internationalization of SMES: Evidence from China

Xiao Zhang, Xufei Ma, Yue Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


This article combines arguments from entrepreneurship literature and social capital theory to examine the antecedents to the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from China. Our quantitative study of 117 Chinese SMEs demonstrates the overall importance of entrepreneurial orientation and social capital of entrepreneurs in facilitating their internationalization efforts, and also reveals that different dimensions of entrepreneurial orientation and different types of social capital exert different levels of independent influence on Chinese SMEs' internationalization. Complementary data from multiple case studies explains the variation between our quantitative findings and the findings of previous research. By highlighting the value of the entrepreneurial attributes of Chinese SMEs and the social capital embedded in their networks in the pursuit of their internationalization, the article adds to the scant literature on the internationalization behavior of the rapidly emerging Chinese SMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalThunderbird International Business Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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