Entrepreneurs’ features affecting the internationalisation of service SMEs



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Cracow University of Economics


Objective: To analyse the internationalisation of SMEs from the perspective of the entrepreneur and the special characteristics and traits that influence internationalisation while dealing with parsimony of financial assets, country of origin liability and other institutional voids. Research Design & Methods: 11 Colombian SMEs were observed and studied on a case-by-case basis, using a methodology inspired by the phenomenological interpretative analysis (IPA). Findings: The coding and analysis of the collected empirical data highlighted five main features that positively influence the internationalisation of the observed SMEs: technical expertise of an entrepreneur, opportunistic behaviour towards internationalisation, international focus from inception, an ability to build networks and value creation based on personal traits of the entrepreneur. Implications & Recommendations: The findings of this study contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the behaviour, rationality and distinctive entrepreneur’ traits that influence the internationalisation of service SMEs. Contribution & Value Added: This study observes the internationalisation of SMEs from a region that is underrepresented in the literature, furthermore, it uses an entrepreneur-level approach and IPA methodology that is novel in international entrepreneurship studies. © 2018, Cracow University of Economics. All rights reserved.


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