How can emerging market small and medium-sized enterprises maximise internationalisation benefits? The moderating effect of organisational flexibility

Xiao Zhang, Xufei Ma, Yue Wang, Yangwen Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A fundamental assumption in the small business literature is that the competitive advantages of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are rooted in their organisational flexibility. However, prior research tends to view the effects of different types of organisational flexibility as homogeneous. In the context of the internationalisation of SMEs from emerging markets, this article proposes that different types of organisational flexibility influence the extent to which SMEs can benefit from their internationalisation. Using a sample of Chinese SMEs, the study shows that strategic flexibility helps emerging market SMEs benefit from their internationalisation, but that operational flexibility weakens the main effect. Finally, structural flexibility has no significant influence on the internationalisation–performance relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-692
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

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