Purpose - The current study aims to examine the role of international entrepreneurship and innovation in small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) internationalisation, also touching on the role of the firm size as a proxy of resources in the SME internationalisation process. The study seeks to look at these issues in the context of manufacturing firms, arguing that entrepreneurial SMEs pursuing international market entry undertake organisational innovation, which in turn enables such firms to achieve higher marketplace performance. Design/methodology/approach - The paper was based on the development and administration of a self-completed survey of 302 managers. Findings - The results suggest that international SMEs differ from non-international SMEs in terms of international entrepreneurship, organisational innovation intensity and firm size. Research limitations/implications - The cross-sectional research design and the regional nature of the sampled firms may limit the generalisability of the findings. The manufacturing sectors that were studied provided an appropriate setting, although research in other industries is required. Practical implications - The findings provide SME managers with a feasible path to internationalisation, in that firms striving towards internationalisation must undertake organisational innovation. Innovative firms are better equipped to exploit international market opportunities and perform better in such markets. Originality/value - In spite of the central role assigned to innovation in a firm's competitive strategy, the literature that examines the role of innovation in SME internationalisation has been limited. Addressing this research gap the paper examines the role of international entrepreneurship and innovation in SME internationalisation.
- Business performance
- International business
- International marketing
- Small to medium-sized enterprises