New IE Articles — August 2022

International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal—DOI:

Business Responsibility and Effectuation in Internationalized SMEs

Uzhegova, M. & Torkkeli, L.

Sustainability is a global trend that requires balancing environmental, social, and financial concerns. Issues related to social and environmental responsibility have attracted growing research interest in the research domains on small businesses and large multinational companies, but they are yet to be explored in the context of internationalized small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which experience the liabilities of foreignness and smallness but whose share of and impact on the world economy are growing. This study connects entrepreneurial decision-making with business responsibility and explores the effects of effectual decision-making logic on responsible business practices (RBPs) and their outcomes in the context of internationalized SMEs. The empirical part of the study was based on the survey data from a sample of 179 Finnish SMEs. The results obtained via linear regression modeling showed that a more pronounced effectual logic can lead to more RBPs in internationalized SMEs. The RBPs, in turn, were found to have a positive impact on the competitive performance of these SMEs, thus serving as mediators. This study contributes to the literature on responsible decision-making in both the research areas of internationalization of SMEs and small business responsibility.

Small Enterprise Research – DOI:

Business model innovation for resilient international growth

Eriksson, T., Heikkilä, M., & Nummela, N.

Our knowledge concerning the link between internationalization and business model innovation remains limited. This study investigates the change in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) searching for organizational resilience. It particularly focuses on discovering how SMEs innovate their business models when seeking organisational resilience through international growth. In order to answer this research question, we conducted a multiple-case study of three Finnish SMEs. The critical sources of resilience were digitalization, strategic collaboration, customer intimacy, agile use of resources/expertise, and an improved revenue model. For all the case firms, significant business model innovation was required for resilient international growth. Based on the study findings, a new concept is proposed for future research: SME international resilience.

International Marketing Review – DOI:

Analysing the importance of international knowledge, orientation, networking and commitment as entrepreneurial culture and market orientation in gaining competitive advantage and international performance

Falahat, M., Soto-Acosta, P., Ramayah, T. 

This study argues that having an entrepreneurial culture and market orientation are critical for young enterprises to gain competitive advantage and superior international performance. We investigate how young entrepreneurial companies despite their limited resources and experience expand rapidly in foreign markets almost from their inception. This investigation uses a mixed-methods approach, combining in-depth interviews and survey data. In-depth interviews lead us to conceptualise a model highlighting the importance of international knowledge, international orientation, international networking and international commitment as entrepreneurial culture and market orientation for gaining competitive advantage and, in return, superior performance in the international market. Then, the derived conceptual model is empirically tested on a sample of Malaysian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Results show that entrepreneurial culture is positively associated with competitive advantage and international performance, while market orientation is positively related to competitive advantage but not to international performance. In addition, government support strengthens the positive effect of competitive advantage on international performance.