Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Best practice network business model for internationalization of small and medium enterprises

Abstract

Small and medium enterprises’ entry to international markets leads to their continuous growth and facilitates national and global economic development. In an attempt to substantiate these outcomes, they seek to acquire best practices and experiences in order to facilitate entering, surviving, and growing in global markets. To address this challenge practically, the present paper introduces a media for networking and a system for transferring internationalization best practices across small and medium enterprises under the concept of Best Practice Network. Subsequently, the paper tries to depict Best Practice Network as a viable business and establish a guideline for implementing it by developing its business model. To achieve this objective, the authors have administered multi-case study research among the top managers of international small and medium enterprises in the information and communication technology sector of Iran. The resulting model is based on business model ontology and proposes a bird’s eye view of the Best Practice Network including product, customer interface, infrastructure management, and financial aspects. Moreover, by proposing a media for sharing related best practices, this paper can lead to the decline of the stage theory of internationalization and can excel the born global theory of small and medium enterprises.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Aspelund A, Moen Ø (2005) Small international firms: typology, performance and implications. Manag Int Rev 45(3):37–57

  2. Bell J (1995) The internationalization of small computer software firms, a further challenge to stage theories. Eur J Mark 29(8):60–75

  3. Buchel B, Raub S (2002) Building knowledge—creating value networks. Eur Manag J 20(6):587–596

  4. Canzano D, Grimaldi M (2004) Knowledge management and collaborations: knowledge strategy and processes in the knowledge networks. In: Proceeding of I-KNOW 04 Graz, Austria, pp 175–183

  5. Cassell C, Nadin S, Gray MO (2001) The use and effectiveness of benchmarking in SMEs. Benchmarking An Int J 8(3):212–222

  6. Coviello NE, Munro H (1995) Growing the entrepreneurial firm: networking for international market development. Eur J Mark 7(7):49–61

  7. Crick D, Barr P (2007) SMEs’ barriers towards internationalization and assistance requirements in the UK: differences between exporters and firms employing multiple modes of market entry. J Small Bus Entrep 20(3):233–243

  8. Deros BM, Yusof SM, Salleh AM (2006) A benchmarking implementation framework for automotive manufacturing SMEs. Benchmarking An Int J 13(4):396–430

  9. Elmuti D, Kathawala Y (1997) An overview of benchmarking process: a tool for continuous improvement and competitive advantage. Benchmarking An Int J 4(4):229–243

  10. Etemad H (1999) Globalization and the small and medium-sized enterprises: search for potent strategies. Glob Focus 11(3):85–104

  11. Fathian M, Akhavan P, Hoorali M (2008) E-readiness assessment of non-profit ICT SMEs in a developing country: the case of Iran. Technovation 28:578–590

  12. Fragidis G, Tarabanis K (2006) From repositories of best practices to networks of best practices. In: IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology, pp 370–374

  13. Gordijn J, Akkermans H, Van Vilet H (2000) What’s in an electronic business model. EKAW, France

  14. Gordijn J, Osterwalder A, Pigneur Y (2005) Comparing two business model ontologies for designing e-business models and value constellations. Proceedings of the 18th Bled eConference, Bled, Slovenia, 6–8 June

  15. Hallen L (1992) Infrastructural networks in international business. In: Forsgren M, Johanson J (eds) Managing Networks in International Business. Gordon and Breach, Philadelphia

  16. Hickey P (2000) AORN’s role in the Best Practice Network, association of operating room nurses. AORN J 71(3):664–670

  17. Johanson J, Mattsson L (1988) Internationalization in industrial systems—a network approach. In: Buckley PJ, Ghauri PN (eds) The internationalization of the firm: a reader. Academic, London, pp 303–321

  18. Johanson J, Wiedersheim-Paul F (1975) The internationalization of the firm—four Swedish cases. J Manag Stud 12(3):305–322

  19. Kyro P (2003) Revising the concept and forms of benchmarking. Benchmarking An Int J 10(3):210–225

  20. Miles MB, Haberman AM (1994) Qualitative data analysis, 2nd edn. SAGE Publication, Thousand Oaks

  21. Moen Ø, Gavlen M, Endresen I (2004) Internationalization of small, computer software firms entry forms and market selection. Eur J Mark 38(9):1236–1251

  22. Monkhouse E (1995) The role of competitive benchmarking in small to medium-sized enterprises. Benchmarking An Int J 2(4):41–50

  23. Osterwalder A (2004) The business model ontology, a proposition in a design science approach. Ph.D. dissertation, Lausane Universty

  24. Osterwalder A, Pigneur Y, Tucci LC (2005) Clarifying business models: origins, present, and future of the concept. Commun Assoc Inf Syst 16:1–25

  25. Rappa MA (2004) The utility business model and the future of computing services. IBM Syst J 43(1):32–42

  26. Ruzzier M, Hisrich RD, Robert D, Antoncic B (2006) SME internationalization research: past, present, and future. J Small Bus Enterp Dev 13(4):476–497

  27. Simard C, Rice RE (2007) The practice gap: barriers to the diffusion of best practices. In: McInerney CR, Day RE (eds) Re-thinking knowledge management: from knowledge objects to knowledge processes. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 87–124

  28. Yin RK (2003) Applications of case study research, vol 34, 2nd edn, Applied Social Research Methods Series. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Hamidreza Yazdani for his useful discussions around the research methodology section of an earlier draft of this paper. In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the three blind peer reviewers of JIEN and the editor, Hamid Etemad, for their constructive comments on earlier versions of the paper and their contributions to its improvement.

Author information

Correspondence to Hoda Nasseri.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Zarei, B., Nasseri, H. & Tajeddin, M. Best practice network business model for internationalization of small and medium enterprises. J Int Entrep 9, 299–315 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10843-011-0080-3

Download citation

Keywords

  • Best Practice Network
  • Internationalization
  • Small and medium enterprises
  • Business model design
  • Business model ontology