A4 Conference proceedings

Antecedents to Internationalization of Cleantech SMEs: Evidence from Finland


Publication Details
Authors: Asemokha Agnes, Torkkeli Lasse, Saarenketo Sami
Publication year: 2016
Language: English
Title of parent publication: Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference of the EIBA
ISBN: 978-3-200-05028-0
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication

Abstract
Research on internationalization of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is a central theme in international entrepreneurship. However, extant research has mostly neglected two major phenomena within: First, the emergence of new sustainability-related industries such as the cleantech sector has raised questions as to how generalizable theories and empirical results on SME internationalization are to these new types of enterprises. Second, the application of institutional theory to study SME internationalization has been rare, even as issues such as global, regional and national regulation could have an impact on cleantech enterprises in particular. This study aims to respond to these omissions, by illustrating antecedents of internationalization in cleantech SMEs. We conduct a qualitative case study encompassing five Finnish cleantech SMEs in various phases in their internationalization process, apply the institutional theory, and focus on the antecedents of their internationalization in particular. The results suggest that, while internationalization in the cleantech context poses some similar challenges as internationalizing SMEs face in general, the specifies of regulatory environment in the cleantech sector present these SMEs with added challenges and opportunities. We discuss the results and suggest that internationalization of cleantech SMEs could do with added research focus.

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