Title: Domestic business-to-business relationships and the internationalisation of SMEs: evidence from Switzerland

Authors: Michael Beier; Christian Hauser; Jens Hogenacker

Addresses: Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship (SIFE), University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, Comercialstrasse 22, 7000 Chur, Switzerland ' Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship (SIFE), University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, Comercialstrasse 22, 7000 Chur, Switzerland ' Department of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Potsdam, August-Bebel-Strasse 89, 14482 Potsdam, Germany

Abstract: Relationships and networks are commonly understood to play an important role in firms' internationalisation. With this proposition in mind, this paper investigates the link between domestic business-to-business ties and firm internationalisation in a sample of 502 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from Switzerland. Following a two-step approach, this paper analyses how transactional relationships among SMEs and publicly listed domestic companies are linked to the export propensity and export intensity of SMEs. The empirical results reveal the heterogeneous effects of these relationships. Although the domestic business-to-business ties are positively associated with the export propensity of SMEs, they are negatively related to the export intensity of SMEs.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; firm internationalisation; export propensity; export intensity; business-to-business relationships; domestic B2B; Switzerland; SME exports; networks.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEV.2016.074402

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 2016 Vol.8 No.1, pp.84 - 101

Available online: 28 Jan 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article