Small and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SME) Internationalisation: A UK case study on the impact of motivation on the degree of internationalisation
The aim of the study is to investigate the effects of proactive and reactive motivators on UK Small and medium-sized firm's choice to internationalise regionally, and on their degree of internationalisation. Within the field of international business, studies on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mode of entry have found that SMEs have tended to internationalise and select their mode of entry mostly in a reactive manner and following cautious and incremental commitment routes. In time, with the advent of economic globalization and the change in the global regulatory environment SMEs' attitudes towards internationalisation have changed with more and more firms challenging the traditional incremental and gradual model of internationalisation. The study presents 7 hypotheses to test the conceptual framework that different motivators can be split into reactive and proactive and that this has a clear effect on the choice of internationalisation and entry mode, the degree of internationalisation and the degree of regionalization (focusing on UK manufacturing SMEs and their motivations in the EU). Data is collected from 103 UK SMEs and a correlation and multiple regression is run showing the impact and differences of such motivators. Findings prove proactive and reactive motivators can be separated into groups according to their effect and are distinct in themselves whilst also showing which motivators impact the most on regionalization, specific entry mode selection (particularly exporting), and the degree of internationalization. In addition, it is found that government policy can be a clear obstacle or push to internationalization.
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