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The Internationalisation Process of the Smaller Firm: An Examination of the Craft Microenterprise

DOI: 10.2174/1874915100801010053]

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This work involves an examination of the internationalisation process of the smaller firm, focusing on the craft enterprise in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Craft sector analysis was carried out in order to determine historical precedents as well as to assist in the identification of industry and firm level factors impinging upon domestic and export market behaviour. A range of internationalisation theories are discussed, with the conclusion that the majority of these frameworks fail to readily explain smaller firm exporting behaviour. More recent developments such as the born global firm, the instant international and networking for internationalisation are deemed more appropriate fits for smaller firm internationalisation research. Quantitative results identify the majority of craft firms as microenterprises with almost one half operating as a single person business. Qualitative analysis enabled profiling of craft firm types to be carried out. Four orientations are uncovered: the entrepreneur, the idealist, the lifestyler and the latecomer. A composite framework of the factors uncovered in the analysis is constructed in order to better explain the process of smaller firm internationalisation.


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