This paper investigates whether different categories of links (core and discretionary) to external resource providers are associated with the international performance of SMEs, as well as the perceived importance of external links for providing specific forms of assistance toward internationalization. A study of 180 internationally active SMEs examines whether these features vary according to the SMEs' contexts, specifically their industry and level of home economy development. The relevance of these two contexts is theoretically informed by resource dependence, environmental munificence and institutional perspectives. SME decision-makers' attribution of importance to discretionary external links predicts stronger international performance, but this is not the case with core market transactional links. Different external parties emerge as important sources of specific forms of assistance toward internationalization. Many of these results are associated with the SME's industry and home economy context. The paper concludes with a new contextually-informed model of SME egocentric networking and implications for practice.
Child, JohnNarooz, RoseHsieh, LindaElbanna, SaidKarmowska, Joanna
Marinova, SvetlaPuthusserry, PushyaragTsai, TerenceZhang, Yunlu
Oxford Brookes Business School
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-02-21