Chapter 9: Market Entry Strategies, Innovation and Performance of SMEs in the Service Sector
Published on Sep 10, 2018
· DOI :10.1108/S1876-066X20180000034009
Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face challenges in internationalisation due to their limited resources. Research on service firm internationalisation as well as the antecedents and consequences is scarce. Literature suggests that internationalisation for service firms is even more demanding than for manufacturing firms due to the characteristics of services such as intangibility. Extant literature states that firms introducing innovations are more likely to export. However, research on learning by exporting and thus investigating the effect of a firm’s export status on innovation is comparatively scarce. Therefore, the authors investigate the influence of different market entry strategies on innovation and firm performance. The authors employ a quantitative, survey-based approach to test our hypotheses based on a sample of internationally active firms headquartered in Austria. Regarding firm financial performance, the analysis of the data shows that the entry strategy of direct entry excels the direct export strategy. In terms of non-financial performance, the strategies of direct entry and direct export seem to be equally feasible.