The EIASM RENT Conference was recently held in Toledo, Spain. With the overarching theme “Sustainable Entrepreneurship: a Win-Win Strategy for the Future”, the conference featured several IE related research papers.

Some of the IE research highlights from the conference include:

The psychic distance distortion and the SME’s decision to internationalize: Evidence from the Pacific Russia 

Igor Novikov (Far Eastern Federal University)

This paper explores the concept of psychic distance through investigating its influence on international growth decisions by SMEs related to the automotive parts industry in Russia. This context is particularly interesting, as the SMEs considered are located within ‘Pacific Russia’, and thus are in close physical proximity, but arguably higher psychic distance, to East-Asian Markets compared with the more densely populated Western regions of Russia. The research (conducted using semi-structured interviews across three firms) presents evidence that can aid the development of internationalization support plans for Russian SMEs.

When green SMEs go international: Collective pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities

Marcela Contreras Cruz (University of Montpellier), Karim Messeghem (University of Montpellier), Alexis Catanzaro (Jean Monnet University).

The authors highlight the importance of internationalization to green SMEs which through their work, tend to tackle problems of a global nature. Derived from a series in-depth qualitative interviews, the research offers guidance to green SME managers in relation to opportunity identification, partner identification, and opportunity exploitation.

The governance of born globals and their global value chains

Hang Do (Kingston University London),  David Smallbone (Kingston University London), Robert Blackburn (Kingston University London).

By drawing on seven case studies of born globals across the EU, this paper seeks to uncover critical factors determining the governance structure of the GVC amongst born global enterprises. The findings suggest that firm characteristics, network, nature of their business and the replicability of their partners determine the power of the GVC relationship.

Crossing the Border in a Cross-border Region: The Role of Networks in Small Firms’ Internationalization

Nataliya Galan (University West), Ellinor Torsein (University West).

This study aims at generating a better understanding of internationalization process of SFs using different kind of networks (business, social, institutional) by focusing on all phases of their internationalization process, i.e. IO recognition, evaluation and exploitation. The study takes into consideration a special geographical context of a cross-border region, which implies that firms located in such areas should benefit from a spatial proximity to a neighbouring foreign market and its potential.

TMT social capital, international performance and the mediating role of experimental learning for foreign markets

Alexander Strunz (RWTH Aachen University).

This paper assesses the influence of the social capital of the top management team (TMT) on liabilities of foreignness and smallness and consequently on the international performance of SMEs. It analyzes both the direct link between TMT social capital and international performance as well as the mediating role of experimental learning about foreign markets

(IE-scholars thanks IE Ambassador for Southern Europe, Andreu Blesa, and IE Ambassador for the Middle East, Ross Curran, for this contribution)