The internationalization of small and medium-sized firms

Dirk De Clercq, Harry J. Sapienza, Hans Crijns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


This paper contributes to the existing research by integrating the notions of organizational learning and entrepreneurial orientation into the body of international entrepreneurship. Our primary framework combines learning theory and the new venture theory of internationalization to study the extent to which small and medium-sized companies engage in international activities. We found that the firms' international learning effort and entrepreneurial orientation are positively associated with internationalization intent whereas domestic learning effort is negatively related with internationalization intent. Overall, our results suggest (1) that intensive knowledge renewal and exploitation regarding foreign markets and the internationalization process itself may increase internationalization by affecting the perceptions of opportunities offered by further international expansion, and (2) that firms with an entrepreneurial mindset may be more likely to develop a long-term, substantial presence in the international arena, compared to firms that are more reactive or conservative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'The internationalization of small and medium-sized firms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this