New descriptions and understandings of internationalisation: A tale of knowledge-intensive SMEs

McGaughey, Sara L., 1968 - (2003). New descriptions and understandings of internationalisation: A tale of knowledge-intensive SMEs PhD Thesis, School of Business, The University of Queensland.

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Author McGaughey, Sara L., 1968 -
Thesis Title New descriptions and understandings of internationalisation: A tale of knowledge-intensive SMEs
School, Centre or Institute School of Business
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor P. W. Liesch
Total pages 456
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
350212 International Business
350209 Small Business Management
350211 Innovation and Technology Management
780199 Other
Abstract/Summary This research seeks to generate and foster new descriptions and understandings of processes underlying the internationalisation experienced by small- and medium-sized, knowledge-intensive enterprises. The longitudinal study centres on the growth and internationalisation of a cluster of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the most southern state of Australia, of which a number were 'bom global.' It draws on both retrospective data such as corporate archives, as well as observations and interviews as events unfolded over a period of eighteen months to garner insights into processes underlying the SMEs' internationalisation. The approach to inquiry is influenced by an epistemology of social constructionism, interpretive narrative, sensemaking and dramaturgical theoretical perspectives, and elements of cultural anthropology. Exploratory in the early stages, a funnel approach characteristic of ethnographic enquiry was used whereby the study became progressively focused over time. The extended period of fieldwork led to observations and interpretations that cast the retrospective data in new light, and the use of the construct 'legitimacy' as a lens through which to view activities and events infusing the firms' internationalisation. A generic narrative scheme that offers a temporal ordering of actions, context and meaning attributions in relation to legitimation behaviours and internationalisation processes is developed. This narrative scheme is then used to garner a deeper understanding of three activities that were central to the firms' internationalisation over time: the choice of geographic export markets, strategic participation in international standard-setting committees, and portfolio entrepreneurship. In addition, the study offers a rich story of the growth and internationalisation of the cluster of knowledge-intensive SMEs. The tale of growth and internationalisation pursued by the cluster of knowledgeintensive SMEs spans the period from 1975 to mid 1997, and may prove a useful resource for the theorising of others.
Keyword Small business.
International business enterprises.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:10:29 EST