Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
With the increasing globalization, large as well as small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs) are seeking for international opportunities to grasp further growth. Seeing it
from another perspective, the emerging markets are creating the needed platform for
absorbing such opportunities making these markets attractive. When moving operations
to emerging markets as a form of internationalization, companies face many challenges
within the foreign markets that affect the international activities of the companies.
Managing to overcome these challenges, while maintaining a resilient position, might
not be an easy task to apply within turbulent markets.
The purpose of this study is thus to explore how market turbulences affect the
international activities of Swedish SMEs operating in countries within the MENA
region. In addition to that, the study examines some crucial factors that can impact the
resilience of these SMEs during turbulences. The study is conducted through a
qualitative case study examining five Swedish SMEs operating in countries within the
MENA region. The examination is applied on empirical findings collected from the case
companies through interviews.
The theoretical framework of the study includes theories within the internationalization
process theory while highlighting arguments on resilience and other crucial factors.
After analyzing the empirical findings, while comparing it with the given theories, the
study resulted in analysis and conclusion. The study concludes that the factors that
enable companies to remain resilient during times of turbulences within the MENA
region include, the knowledge that a company has, managing the psychic distance and
cultural differences, and the ability to balance between the path dependency of the firm,
while considering the dynamic capabilities of the company. Further, the resources could
be seen as factors that enhance the resilience and hinder it at the same time. As for the
network and relationship factor, the result indicates that this factor is not with a great
value to remaining resilient.
SMEs, Market Turbulence, Resilience, Emerging Markets, MENA Region,
Internationalization of SMEs, International Activities