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A systematic literature review on SME internationalization

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:a personality lens
The importance of the individual decision-maker within the internationalization process of SMEs has extensively been acknowledged in the International Entrepreneurship field. Yet, despite this, the current discourse is mainly limited to socio-demographics, and social and human capital, and does not seem to advance towards the influence and role of, e.g., deeper-level personality aspects on the SME’s internationalization process. Findings are scattered across different fields of research and disciplines, making it difficult to build upon existing knowledge. To address this, we execute a Systematic Literature Review focusing on internationalization, SMEs, and personality, with specific attention for deeper-level personality aspects. Our findings reveal a rather young body of literature which uses a behavioral perspective, and can be subdivided into three overarching research themes: Internationalization Behaviors, Internationalization Initiation, and Internationalization Performance. Our thematic analysis and cross-thematic discussion provide a fertile ground for further studies on the entrepreneur’s deeper-level personality aspects in relation to SME internationalization. In the future research section, we recommend the exploration of alternative behavioral theories, and multi-level and holistic approaches to further explore this promising sub-domain.
Journal: Management Review Quarterly
ISSN: 2198-1620
Volume: 99
Publication year:2022
Keywords:A1 Journal article