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Title: Internationalisation strategies, their contexts and performances : an examination of small and medium sized Greek manufacturing firms
Author: Dimitratos, Pavlos G.
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1999
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This dissertation deals with the internationalisation strategies, organisational and environmental contexts as well as performances in specific foreign markets of Greek manufacturing SMEs. Greece has a small and advancing economy, and the international operations of its small manufacturing firms present significant practical interest to business and government officials. Besides, this topic bears considerable academic value, since gaps in the literature exist upon which a study on this issue can provide insight. 4- The thesis has embraced a holistic framework, which applies concepts from studies of strategic management to the SME internationalisation theme. The strategic choice theory lies behind the internationalisation strategies set, the resource-based and inertial views behind the organisational context sets, and the environmental determinism approach behind the host and domestic environmental context sets. The application of such notions, which are commonly encountered in strategic management, to this area constitutes the principal contribution of the dissertation to academic theory. The conceptual framework of this thesis is integrated in a pre-specified model, which is made up of seventeen constructs belonging to the four sets mentioned above. Each of the constructs is presumed to individually affect firm performance in the foreign country. Initially, in this project, secondary research was undertaken and the theoretical background was advanced. Based on a conceptual model, the hypotheses were then formulated and tested with the aid of empirical observations. Hence, this approach adopts a deductive research method closely associated with empiricism. Overall, after conducting 114 personal interviews through a fully structured questionnaire, data for 165 internationalisation ventures was collected. Results by reliability, exploratory factor and correlation analyses, which were employed to evaluate the scales of the study's constructs, demonstrate that the construct validity (and reliability) of the dissertation's variables is satisfactory. Regression examinations reveal that all four sets of independent variables exert influence on performance in foreign markets. Variables of the organisational context exhibit significant influence on foreign sales ratio of the country and perceived satisfaction. This finding stresses the role of SME managers, who should develop their internal organisational resources, and especially, management systems in internationalisation and resource availability for internationalisation. Besides, businesses have to acquire as much experience in the host country as possible. The statistically significant impact of all environmental variables (apart from unfamiliarity with the foreign market) is notable and of key importance, particularly to government practitioners. State officials can work towards shaping favourable environmental circumstances in both domestic and host nations to aid SMEs in their internationalisation ventures. Finally, investigations of differences show that ventures in developed countries present higher foreign sales ratios than ventures in less developed countries, and ventures by Salonikian firms present higher foreign sales ratios than ventures by Athenian firms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available