Knowledge acquisition strategy, speed of capability development and speed of SME internationalisation

Mikael Hilmersson, Martin Johanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

From a study following two sequential on-site data collection stages at 618 internationalising SMEs in Sweden, Poland and China, we identify and validate four distinct international knowledge acquisition strategies. In contrast to traditional theories suggesting that firms develop capabilities by generating their own experience, we show that Grafters and Pragmatists have a higher speed of international capability development than Experiencers and Networkers. Subsequently, by drawing on capability development theory, we show that the speed of capability development has a curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) effect on the speed of spread between international markets. These findings have consequences both for practitioners and theory.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Small Business Journal: Researching Entrepreneurship
Volume38
Issue number6
Early online date16 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes

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