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Commercial diplomacy as a mechanism for passive-reactive SME internationalisation: overcoming liabilities of outsidership
This study contributes to SME internationalisation literature by conceptualising Commercial Diplomacy (CD) as a mechanism enabling SME internationalisation. CD remedies for SMEs' liabilities of outsidership when those SMEs are compelled to internationalise under conditions of abrupt environmental shock in their domestic market. Using the Greek economic crisis as a research setting, we examine a situation in which established SMEs previously apathetic to internationalisation had to assume the risks of internationalising or face extinction. With data generated through 35 open-ended semi-structured interviews of commercial diplomats between 2013 and 2017, we conceptualise and empirically validate CD as a missing link in staged and network-revised theories of internationalisation. In turn, this paper overcomes the current inability of extant SME internationalisation literature to account for forced internationalisation of established SMEs as a reaction to environmental shocks in which building networks is unfeasible and accessing established networks requires time that these firms do not have.
- Loughborough Business School
Published inEuropean Journal of International Management
Pages605 - 635
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Rights holder© Inderscience Enterprises Ltd
Publisher statementThis paper was accepted for publication in the journal European Journal of International Management and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1504/EJIM.2023.134643.