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De-internationalization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: How do the drivers and determinants affect the form and the path of de-internationalization for SME’s?
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Marketing.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

More and more SME’s, which create entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, which are

primarily responsible for wealth and economic growth, are internationalizing. This

increases their probability of business closure due to the increased risk they face from

operating in foreign markets. Much of the world blames the U.S. financial excesses for

these business closures, but at the same time there are also SME’s withdrawing

activities from foreign markets in economic stable times. This indicates that there are

more and other reasons for de-internationalization and raises the problem of how do

SME’s close their businesses in foreign markets.

The purpose of this study is to explore how the drivers and determinants of deinternationalization

affect the form and the paths of de-internationalization for SME’s.

The aim is to provide and contribute to a better understanding of deinternationalization.

This was studied through developing four case studies with Dutch SME’s with a

qualitative research approach. For empirical data collection interviews were conducted

with the persons closely involved with the de-internationalization of the SME’s. This in

combination with the developed theoretical framework, based on a theory discussion

and synthesis, provided more insight into the de-internationalization topic.

The findings of this study show that a unique combination of drivers and determinants

of de-internationalization is present in each case study and the relative influence of

them differs. Most of the de-internationalization took place in a voluntary way, due to

the nature and predictability of the occurring drivers. Moreover, it was found that the

drivers of de-internationalization combined with the determinants influence the form in

which de-internationalization can take place. It was also found that the form of deinternationalization,

which SME’s have chosen, determines the two paths of deinternationalization,

which are partial divestment and full market exit.

This study contributes to the better understanding of de-internationalization, by

identifying the forms and paths which SME’s can choose when withdrawing activities in

foreign markets. Moreover, the main drivers and determinants have been identified and

it was analysed how they affect the different forms and paths of de-internationalization

and this was conceptualized in a model. The recommendations are, that deinternationalization

should be seen as a strategic option SME’s have and should be

considered in corporate strategies. Therefore, the associations with this phenomenon

could be seen (more) positive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
De-internationalization, divestment, market exit, export withdrawal
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-27464OAI: diva2:635854
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
International Business Strategy, Master Programme 60 credits
Available from: 2013-07-08 Created: 2013-07-06 Last updated: 2013-07-08Bibliographically approved

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