Small Business Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 309–327 | Cite as

The Effects of Ownership and Governance on SMEs’ International Knowledge-based Resources

  • Shaker A. Zahra
  • Donald O. Neubaum
  • Lucia Naldi


Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an important role in today’s global economy. However, there are significant differences in how they respond to the opportunities and threats in international markets. This study␣suggests SMEs’ ownership and governance systems significantly influence the development of knowledge-based resources necessary for internationalization. Using a sample of 384 US SMEs, we find a positive relationship between both the equity held by top management team members and venture capitalists and the development of these important resources. This positive association is further accentuated by the presence of independent outside directors on SMEs’ boards, supporting their monitoring and enterprising roles.


governance internationalization ownership SMEs 

JEL Classifications



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We appreciate the comments of Morten Huse, Lorraine M Uhlaner, Mike Wright, R. Isil Yavuz, and Patricia H. Zahra on earlier drafts of this paper. Data collection was supported by a grant from the Glavin Center for Global Management at Babson College.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaker A. Zahra
    • 1
  • Donald O. Neubaum
    • 2
  • Lucia Naldi
    • 3
  1. 1.Center for Entrepreneurial Studies & Strategic Management & Organization Department Carlson School of ManagementUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Oregon State University College of BusinessCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.Jönköping International Business SchoolJönköpingSweden

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