Small and medium enterprises internationalisation and business strategy: some evidence from ﬁrms located in an emerging market
Ahmad, Syed Zamberi
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the international business strategy, key driving factors and the major barriers that may hinder the internationalisation progress of Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Design/methodology/approach – Based on the aims of the study, the paper encompasses both quantitative andqualitative data.For quantitative data,structured questionnaires were used,andatotal of 216 SMEs that engaged in international business participated using purposeful sampling, covering all the states in Peninsular Malaysia. For the collection of qualitative data, the study involved in-depth interviews with 25 owners/managers of SMEs. Findings – The ﬁndings indicate that the motives of SMEs for international expansion are varied, and that SMEs still face many institutional challenges, which have prevented them from making a greater contribution. Research limitations/implications – Due to lack of resources, ﬁrms from West Malaysia were included.West Malaysian ﬁrms may well possess characteristics concerning the challenges an dissues to internationalisation that are unique to their region. Originality/value – The paper addresses a knowledge gap in respect of the internationalisation process of SMEs in the context of Southeast Asia. The ﬁndings of this paper will have relevance for policymaking and supportive measures at the government level to create an environment that will stimulate the competitiveness of SMEs in their attempts for internationalisation.