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Collective internationalization: a new take off route for SMEs from China
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing. (Baltic Business Research Center)
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing. (Baltic Business Research Center)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Asia Business Studies, ISSN 1558-7894, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 29-42Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the establishments of Chinese wholesale and retail market platforms in China and Europe, creating a new takeoff route for SMEs from China, and to theorize on this as a new collective route to internationalization.

Methodology – An exploratory case study has been undertaken covering four Chinese market platforms: the role model in Yiwu, China, and the establishments in Warsaw, Poland; Budapest, Hungary; and Kalmar, Sweden.

Findings – A new collective internationalization route is identified, driven by the collectivistic Chinese culture. Here Chinese SMEs diverge from traditionally suggested paths of internationalization, taking off independently from the domestic business network but form a joint market platform in the foreign market. This collective behavior compensates for the resource constraints of internationally inexperienced Chinese SMEs. From the market platform, they plug into the local market network and are provided with economies of scale and scope, ultimately making them internationally competitive. This collective route offers the potential for joint learning and risk reduction when entering distant markets in the early internationalization stages.

Originality/value – The paper reports on an overlooked empirical phenomenon, namely the establishment of Chinese wholesale and retail market platforms in China and Europe. Through this establishment a new collective route into the global market by Chinese SMEs is identified and theorized.

Keywords – Collective Internationalization Processes; Market Entry Modes and Nodes; Motives of Internationalization; Market Platforms; Chinese SMEs

Paper type – Research paper

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 8, no 1, p. 29-42
Keywords [en]
Collective internationalization processes, market entry modes and nodes, motives of internationalization, market platform, Chinese SMEs
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Economy, Business administration; Economy, Marketing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-17724DOI: 10.1108/JABS-09-2012-0043Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84992957286OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-17724DiVA, id: diva2:504929
Note

I den tryckta avhandlingen ingår en tidigare version (ett manuskript).

Available from: 2012-02-22 Created: 2012-02-22 Last updated: 2014-04-23Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Internationalization processes of small and medium-sized enterprises: Entering and taking off from emerging markets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Internationalization processes of small and medium-sized enterprises: Entering and taking off from emerging markets
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The high economic growth of formerly closed markets such as China, Russia, Poland, and the Baltic states has created vast business and growth opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although this international business expansion of SMEs occurs in highly dissimilar business contexts and fierce international competition, it remains overlooked by research. Therefore, the main aim of this thesis is to contribute to an enhanced understanding of internationalization processes of SMEs by studying the overarching research question: What are the main features of internationalization processes of SMEs in an emerging market context? Three sub-problems are researched with regard to SMEs entering and taking off from emerging markets, as well as differences and similarities between these processes, in order to identify what features characterize them. Empirically, two surveys of 116 and 203 Swedish SMEs, respectively, with experiences of entry into emerging markets were conducted through standardized questionnaires via mail and on-site visits. In addition, case studies were conducted through interviews and observations of five internationalizing Chinese SMEs and four Chinese wholesale and retail market platforms. Five essays are compiled within the thesis and major findings and conclusions provide theoretical and empirical contributions to research on the internationalization processes of SMEs. With regard to the overlooked internationally experienced manufacturing SMEs from mature markets such as Sweden, theoretical advancements are made identifying the main concepts of their entry into emerging markets: entry node (the establishment point into the foreign business network); market-specific experiential knowledge; and perceived institutional distance. With regard to the internationally novel Chinese SMEs, these were seen to diverge from traditional internationalization paths. Indications were found of a parallel expansion abroad and at home, even using foreign markets as a springboard for further growth at home. The take-off node concerns the departure from an emerging home market, where a paradox of knowledge was found: the use of indirect export via a domestic intermediary facilitates the take off, but hinders further international expansion since no international experience or relationships are built up. Moreover, institutional distance was reduced due to collective internationalization through co-locating abroad. Generally, degree of maturity of the home market; as well as degree of internationalization and type of firm; are the main features behind differences between internationalization processes of SMEs in an emerging market context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö, Kalmar: Linnaeus University Press, 2012. p. 272
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 78/2012
Keywords
network approach to internationalization, foreign business networks and relationships, internationalization process, foreign market entry, entry/take-off node, experiential knowledge, institutional distance, emerging markets, Sweden, China, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economy, Business administration; Economy, Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-17726 (URN)978-91-86983-35-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
Ny200, Ekonomihögskolan, Kalmar Nyckel, Kalmar (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-02-27 Created: 2012-02-22 Last updated: 2013-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Sandberg, SusanneJansson, Hans

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Citation style
  • apa
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