Date of Award


Degree Type



Monte Ahuja College of Business

First Advisor

Whipple, Thomas

Subject Headings

Business networks, International trade, Industrial management, China, Internationalization, Network, Russia, SME, U.S, Electronic books. local


The purpose of this research is to extend the literature addressing the relationships between a SME's networking activities and its internationalization. In addition, the research contributes to the field by empirically investigating and putting into a unified framework attitudinal, managerial, cultural, and environmental factors that influence a SME's networking, and internationalization. The value of a networking approach to SME internationalization is conditioned by its ability to explain non-economic motives underlying the decision making process of small business owners/managers. It is especially valuable in cases of small and medium enterprises since SMEs in order to survive in competition with large firms develop unique competencies that may better be explored using the networking rather than resource-based or stage-based approaches . These competencies include: (1) establishing and managing special relations with partners at home and abroad and giving them customized levels of service (2) utilizing the advantages arising out of business owners/managers' entrepreneurial traits, social capital and even family links and (3) creating and developing synergistic entities with other small firms. This study measures and operationalizes the constructs related to SMEs' networking activities. It makes this research cross-cultural by basing it on highly diversified samples from three different business culturs (USA, China, and Russia) and by establishing cross-cultural validity of the proposed model. The overriding framework of the presented model can be stated as conceptualizing, converting to operationalizable terms, and testing the network theory approach relative to SME internationalization. In this way, the study overcomes the criticism that network theory is not predictive by nature and is not testable

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Business Commons