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Opportunity motivation and SME internationalisation in emerging countries: Evidence from entrepreneurs’ perception of institutions

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Abstract

Institutional studies based on cross-country comparisons and founded on a determinist perspective analyse the behaviour in emerging economies. The current research, in contrast, looks to neo-institutionalism and the literature on entrepreneurship to pose two research questions based on individuals’ discretion: (1) How does the entrepreneur’s perception of the institutional dimensions influence their decision to involve their SME in international operations? (2) What role does opportunity motivation play in the impact of those perceptions on the internationalisation decision? We analyse a sample of 296 entrepreneurs who had founded their businesses in Brazil (Federal State of Sergipe), and our results confirm that the individual’s perception of the normative and regulative aspects of institutions, the interaction between the two, and the interaction between the normative and cognitive aspects of institutions, explain the decision to embark on international operations. Opportunity motivation mediates the impact of the normative aspects of institutions on that decision.

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Financial support from Spain’s Economy and Competitiveness National Department (Project: ECO2013-41762-P) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Antonia Mercedes García-Cabrera.

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García-Cabrera, A.M., García-Soto, M.G. & Durán-Herrera, J.J. Opportunity motivation and SME internationalisation in emerging countries: Evidence from entrepreneurs’ perception of institutions. Int Entrep Manag J 12, 879–910 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11365-016-0386-7

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