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Export Problems of Internationalising SMEs: some empirical evidence using a critical incident technique

Scharf, Fred, Bell, James, Loane, Sharon and Fletcher, Richard (2004) Export Problems of Internationalising SMEs: some empirical evidence using a critical incident technique. In: Researching New Frontiers, Advances in International Business. (Eds: Jones, MV and Dimitratos, P), Palgrave Macmillan Limited, Hants, UK, pp. 103-127. ISBN 1 84376 136 X [Book section]

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DOI: 10.4337/9781845420635.00014


One of the most frequently researched topics in the exporting literature is into the barriers and problems facing small internationalizing firms (see Miesenböck, 1988; Katsikeas, 1991; Leonidou, 1995, for comprehensive reviews of the literature). Typically and regardless of the location of the studies, most conclude that small firms face major problems in terms of the financial aspects of exporting (competitive pricing, delays in payment, foreign exchange risk, and so on). They also report difficulties in non-tariff barriers, import regulations, export documentation, obtaining suitable representation, modifying international product and/or communications strategies and overcoming cultural differences (Rabino, 1980; Bodur, 1986; Karafagliou, 1986; Bannock and Partners, 1987; Morgan, 1997; Crick and Chaudhry, 2000a; da Silva and da Rocha, 2001). However, the dominant use of positivist methodologies, a prevalence of single-country investigations and a general absence of qualitative triangulation mean that while the problems may have been adequately quantified, there is little real understanding of their context and nature, or of the underlying issues that need to be addressed. Thus, ensuing recommendations are often little more than vague attempts to provide guidance to small-firm decision-makers on alleviating current or anticipated export problems. They also tend to lack the depth of detail required by policy-makers in order to provide appropriate, adequate and timely support to such firms. Given these limitations, Easterby-Smith et al. (1994) suggest that mixed methodologies involving qualitative approaches can usefully be employed in conjunction with business surveys in...

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Exports, barriers, critical incidents
Faculties and Schools:Ulster Business School > Department of International Business
Ulster Business School > Department of Business and Enterprise
Ulster Business School
Research Institutes and Groups:Business and Management Research Institute
ID Code:29546
Deposited By: Dr Sharon Loane
Deposited On:04 Mar 2016 11:06
Last Modified:04 Mar 2016 11:06

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