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International business and UK SMEs - Rationale, routes, readiness, role of government support, and reflections

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International business activity is increasingly prominent, even among the smallest and newest organizations. This paper explores, from the SME perspective, five elements (the 5Rs) associated with their international activity. The characteristics of firms within the diverse SME sector imply that they would have different rationales for entering overseas markets, different views on government support and so on. While firm size does influence decision making in a minority of areas, international intensity (the percentage of exports within total sales) is usually the key factor in understanding the internationalization process. These findings should be valuable to policy makers, practitioners and academics.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/000000003101299456

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

    Each issue includes double-blind peer-reviewed papers; a case study with teaching notes, an 'Internet Review' section which identifies and reviews Websites on a selected topic, and book reviews. For key topics go to www.ippublishing.com.
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