Pathways of SME internationalization: a bibliometric and systematic review

Marina Dabić, Jane Maley, Leo Paul Dana, Ivan Novak, Massimiliano Pellegrini, Andrea Caputo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Business is dynamic and rapidly changing. Global markets were previously the playing field of multinational corporations (MNCs), while small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were local; however, the removal of imposed barriers, and recent technological advances in manufacturing, transportation and communications have indorsed SMEs and international entrepreneurs (IE) global access. SMEs and IEs are increasingly fueling economic growth and innovation and these trends are presenting both opportunities and challenges to both MNCs and SMEs in the global arena. This review systematically examines comparative SME and IE research, analyzing (after fine tuning) 762 articles published in leading journals from 1992 to September 2018. Our bibliometric and systematic review classifies SME and IE research findings into three echelons: (i) subjects; (ii) theories; and (iii) methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-725
Number of pages21
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • International entrepreneurship
  • Internationalization
  • SMEs


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