Social knowledge and SMEs innovative gains from internationalization

Shaker A. Zahra, Deniz Ucbasaran, Lance R. Newey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Faced with rising competition in their domestic markets and attracted to opportunities in foreign markets, smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly looking towards internationalization as a means of creating and sustaining competitive advantage. This has heightened researchers interest in examining the benefits of internationalization beyond just financial outcomes. Internationalization can promote learning and the accumulation of the knowledge, skills and capabilities that SMEs need to survive and prosper. Learning and knowledge accumulation can also improve SMEs product innovations. Using data from 384 US-based SMEs, we find that having a wider international market scope exposes SMEs to a rich network of information that encourages and enhances future product innovation. Similar results are observed when SMEs use high control or high involvement modes of entry in foreign markets. Our analyses also show that social knowledge magnifies and strengthens the effects of international market scope and mode of entry (high control as well as high involvement) on SMEs product innovation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was completed in Hacettepe University, Faculty of Dentistry, Department of Endodontics and Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Ankara, Turkey.


  • Internationalization
  • Knowledge and learning
  • Mode of entry
  • Product innovation
  • SMEs
  • Social knowledge


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