Internationalisation strategies and firms' performance. A co-evolutionary study on Italian SMEs
by Matteo Cristofaro; Giacomo Caterini
International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business (IJGSB), Vol. 11, No. 2, 2020

Abstract: The hypercompetitive business landscape that SMEs are currently facing is increasingly pushing them to internationalise their businesses. In doing that, entrepreneurs and executives make important strategic choices related to their investments in cost leadership and differentiation strategies to improve, or at least maintain, their current performance. However, despite the great interest of scholars on this theme, there are no studies about the effects of these different courses of action on firms' performance, especially considering the concurrent influence of sectorial and macroeconomic trends. This contribution, which looks at the dialectical relationship between firms' strategic choices and their environment according to a co-evolutionary perspective, tries to fill this gap presenting evidence from a panel study of 4,098 Italian SMEs over ten years (2008-2017). Findings show that environmental trends and strategic choices simultaneously influence internationalised SMEs' performance and that these firms adapt their strategic choices according to market munificence. Entrepreneurs and executives of SMEs may benefit from the results of this study in order to make better strategic choices when defining their internationalisation strategies.

Online publication date: Tue, 01-Sep-2020

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