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The internationalization process in small and mediumsize companies: a descriptive and comparative study
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
2001 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesisAlternative title
Internationalisprocessen i små och medelstora företag : en beskrivande och jämförande studie (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Background: As a consequence of the increasing globalization, more trade co-operation etc., swedish companies get to an ever increasing extent internationalized. Whereas some time ago it was mainly the big, established companies going abroad, today just as many small and medium sized swedish companies sell and produce goods abroad. During the past few years, there has been a tendency for research in the field of international business to focus manly on high-technology, so called knowledge-intensive companies. However, an important proportion of international companies in Sweden are part of the traditional manufacturing business. Research in the field concerning differences between different companies from different businesses is limited. Are there any differences in the way companies internationalize between the two categories? What are the differences?

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate if there are any differencies in the way swedish small and mediumsize companies internationalize, how these differencies look like, and the factors that influence the companies choice of entry modes. Problem In what way do swedish companies internationalize? Which entry modes do they choose? What factors affects the choice of entry modes? Are there any differencies in the answers of the questions above between traditional manufacturing companies and high-technology companies.

Practical procedure: The paper is based upon an approach similar to a casestudy, using interviews with the CEO or head of the export departement as datacollection-method. The method of selection we used is based upon our own criteria regarding number of employees, turnover and other firm-specific data. We then selected four swedish international companies located in Linköping and Mjölby, of which two were high-technology companies and two were traditional manufacturing companies.

Result: The study shows that companies in their early stages of the internationalization process drop a step-by-step approach to geographical and cultural close markets in order to internationalize. The two high-technology companies had a higher speed in their internationalization process compared with the two traditional manufacturing companies. Market potential was the main explanatory factor for all companies regarding choice of entry mode. Compared with the traditional manufacturing companies, the two high-technology companies were more organized in their international business affairs, anlayzing to a greater extent different alternative approaches. These companies also to a greater extend give priority to the participation in different internatioanl networks, marketpresence and the development of specific competencies. The two high-technology companies used more resource-demanding entry modes, whereas the two traditional manufacturing companies still to a greater extend rely on easy and cheap entry modes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2001. , 87 p.
Master Thesis in Business Administration (Magisteruppsats från Ekonomprogrammet), 2001:19
Keyword [en]
Business and economics, Internationalization, entry mode, export, Thomas Karlsson
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-867OAI: diva2:23395
Available from: 2001-08-23 Created: 2001-08-23

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