Why are some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more successful in selling outside their domestic markets than are other SMEs in the same industry? Although the traditional explanation is that firms can gain valuable knowledge and resources as they become older and larger, small and young firms are not necessarily disadvantaged if they develop other mechanisms to acquire the requisite knowledge and resources. We examine the role of the management team's international experience as such a mechanism, for the internationalization of Canadian software product firms. We show that internationally experienced management teams have a greater propensity to develop foreign strategic partners and to delay less in obtaining foreign sales after start-up, and that these behaviors are associated with a higher degree of internationalization.
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*A. Rebecca Reuber (PhD, MSc., Queen's University) is an Associate Professor at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on the internationalization of SMEs and the management of rapid growth start-ups.
**Eileen Fischer (PhD, Queen's University; MASc., University of Waterloo) is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Research at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Her research interests focus on the antecedents and consequences of internationalization for SMEs and on the social and situational learning of entrepreneurial behavior.
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Reuber, A., Fischer, E. The Influence of the Management Team's International Experience on the Internationalization Behaviors of SMES. J Int Bus Stud 28, 807–825 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490120