Internationalization and performance of small and medium-sized enterprises from emerging economies: Using hazards methodology for competitiveness study



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Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.


Purpose: This paper aims to introduce the use of hazards functions for studying the relationship between internationalization and performance in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from emerging economies. Design/methodology/approach: Hazards functions analysis is applied to a sample of 64 companies, previously grouped into two subsets of manufacturing SMEs from an emerging economy. The first group contains firms that have attained an accelerated internationalization. And the second one those that have followed a sequential internationalization. Findings: The results show strong evidence that internationalization positively affects the probability of a better performance, and therefore more competitiveness of SMEs. Practical implications: The proposed methodology is an invitation to use models other than linear regression to explain the relationship between internationalization and performance, studying the risk function of poor performance, whose characterization in the lifetime of SMEs. The result of this study clearly illustrates how internationalization affects the performance of SMEs for both those SMEs with accelerated internationalization and those with a sequential process of internationalization. Social implications: The implementation of quantitative methodologies, such as the analysis of hazards, has implications in the social practice of research in international business, by inviting the return of data from primary sources, obtained from direct sources, which, although they are not large samples, they are representative, and therefore the results of the well-applied methodology offer powerful and high-reliability information. Irreproducible and non-replicable research results threaten the credibility, usefulness and the very basis of all scientific fields. Studies in entrepreneurship, management and in international business are not exempt from this problem that affects the ethics and credibility of research works. Originality/value: A literature review is presented exposing the disadvantages of the use of traditional correlation methodologies and proposes the methodology traditionally used in industrial engineering studies of hazard functions as a simple option, free of previous assumptions about the relation between internationalization and performance. Finally, the methodology is subjected to triple testing of conceptualization and measurement of internationalization, performance and the relation between internationalization and performance. © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.


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