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Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 58–81 | Cite as

Promotion agencies and SMEs’ internationalization process: A blessing or a curse?

  • Noémie Dominguez
Article

Abstract

Despite the growing interest in research about the role of promotion agencies on small- and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) internationalization, little is known about the impact of such agencies and programs on equity modes of entry. Scholars focused on export at the expense of other forms of internationalization as SMEs traditionally favored non-equity modes of entry due to their limited resources and competences. However, more and more SMEs are switching to equity modes in both emerging and mature economies in order to internalize the transaction-related risks, protect their assets, get closer to their customers, or gain competitive advantages. We conducted a multiple study with five French manufacturing SMEs to highlight the main motivations driving them to use promotion agencies. Particular attention is being paid to the type of support needed, its’ impact on the internationalization path, and the main difficulties faced by SMEs during this process.

Keywords

Promotion agencies Internationalization process SMEs Risks 

Agences de promotion et processus internationalisation des PME: bénédiction ou malédiction?

Malgré l’intérêt grandissant porté par les chercheurs quant au rôle des agences de promotion sur la trajectoire d’internationalisation des PME, l’impact de ces agences et de leurs programmes sur les stratégies d’entrée à fort niveau d’engagement reste peu exploré. En effet, les chercheurs se sont concentrés sur l’export au détriment de toute autre forme d’internationalisation dans la mesure où les PME favorisaient, traditionnellement, les modes d’entrée les moins engageants en raison des ressources et compétences limitées dont elles disposent. Toutefois, de plus en plus de PME n’hésitent plus à recourir à des modes d’entrée capitalistiques dans les économies matures comme émergentes en vue d’internaliser les risques relatifs aux transactions, de protéger leurs actifs, de se rapprocher de leurs consommateurs ou encore de gagner un avantage concurrentiel. L’étude de cas conduite auprès de cinq PME manufacturières françaises nous permet de mettre en avant les motivations poussant ces entreprises à faire appel aux agences de promotion dans leur démarche d’implantation à l’étranger. Une attention particulière est. portée aux types de support requis, à son impact sur la trajectoire d’internationalisation ainsi qu’aux difficultés rencontrées par les PME dans ces démarches.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IAE Lyon—Jean Moulin Lyon 3 UniversityLyonFrance

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