Title: Decision-makers' risk perception in the internationalisation of small and medium-sized firms

Authors: Jonas Eduardsen; Svetla Marinova

Addresses: Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Fibigerstræde 4, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark ' Department of Business and Management, Aalborg University, Fibigerstræde 4, 9220 Aalborg East, Denmark

Abstract: This study examines the risk perception of decision-makers in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and the factors underlying these perceptions in the process of internationalisation of their firms. While risk perception has been identified as a potential predictor variable in internationalisation research, very little work has been done exploring the factors and processes that shape decision-makers' perception of risk. A qualitative interview-based approach was adopted by collecting data from 32 Danish SMEs operating in four different industries. Findings suggest that while risk awareness exists, decision-makers do not perceive internationalisation as risky behaviour. Findings highlight the importance of decision-makers' background, including cognitive and psychological characteristics, such as self-efficacy and locus of control, and their experiences in explaining risk perceptions associated with firm internationalisation.

Keywords: risk perceptions; SME internationalisation; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; self-efficacy; locus of control; experience; decision making; Denmark; risk awarenes; risky behaviour; cognitive characteristics; psychological characteristics; self-efficacy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEXPORTM.2016.076848

International Journal of Export Marketing, 2016 Vol.1 No.1, pp.4 - 26

Available online: 30 May 2016 *

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