Title: Determinants of the internationalisation of European SMEs: inward outward linkages, the 'stage' theory of global expansion and the role of the European Union in the textiles and apparel industry

Authors: Sanford L. Moskowitz

Addresses: Department of Management, Simon's Hall – Room 266, Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321, USA

Abstract: This paper examines the patterns of evolution associated with the internationalisation of SMEs within Western Europe vis-a-vis the transition economies of Eastern Europe. In doing so, it analyses the degree to which the |stage| theory of internationalisation applies to SME internationalisation and why certain industries within certain countries get |stuck| in the early (|primitive|) stages of internationalisation and thus in a low-value creation mode of international activity. It looks at the linkages that exist between |inward| and |outward| trade flows and considers the role of the EU in both nurturing and also hindering the SME internationalisation process.

Keywords: European Union; internationalisation; international trade; joint ventures; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; stage theory; transition economies; value creation; textiles industry; apparel industry; clothing industry; garment industry; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2008.018221

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2008 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.125 - 146

Published online: 12 May 2008 *

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