University of Oulu

Salient international business competences and exporting operations in SMEs : a dynamic capability perspective

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Author: Hernandez Lopez, Nelly1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, International Business
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 9.7 MB)
Pages: 104
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : N. Hernandez Lopez, 2013
Publish Date: 2013-12-09
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Ahokangas, Petri
Reviewer: Ahokangas, Petri
Haapanen, Lauri
This study explores how is the relationship between the level of SMEs international business competences and their level on exporting operations. To complete the purpose, a two-folded process is followed. The first phase performs a comprehensive literature review to provide a tailored conceptual framework aimed at testing the phenomenon empirically. The second phase capitalizes on that conceptual framework, and employs a quantitative research method by using correlational analysis in order to explore the relationship between the relevant variables that emerged from the review. This phase involved real data from 25 Finnish SMEs with international operations. Accordingly, building on the extant literature of International Business and driven by dynamic capabilities perspective, this study employs a hypothesis model to tackle the research question. Statistically significant relationships between the selected competences are identified, highlighting their importance given the strong interconnection from most of them towards exporting operations level, and providing an initial understanding of the competences that can hold a key role for a successful internationalization process. Furthermore, the empirical evidence of the large amount of competences interconnected supports the notion that enterprises are bundle of resources, competences and processes required to be strategically managed. Thus, the findings enhance the essential role of management on building and orchestrating firms’ assets towards competitive advantage development operating in shifting and highly competitive global environments. This research has theoretical and managerial implications. First, on theoretical level, by undertaken internationalization of SMEs through dynamic capabilities approach, allows drawing new insights given the few studies that have used this merge of theories as foundation for understanding export strategy. Additionally, the conceptual framework suggested can be taken as basis for future research to explore more deeply the relationships found. Second, on managerial level, the approach taken in this study capitalizes on the two-phase process to offer decision-makers in one hand, a conceptual framework for theoretical understanding of what is important to posses, build and manage for salient internationalization performance; and on the other hand, suggest predictions for developing competences that might facilitate and enhance exporting operations.
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