A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Becoming a small multinational enterprise: Four multinationalization strategies for SMEs

Open Access hybrid publication

Publication Details

Authors: Vanninen Heini, Keränen Joona, Kuivalainen Olli

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2021

Language: English

Related journal or series: International Business Review

ISSN: 0969-5931

eISSN: 1873-6149

JUFO level of this publication: 2

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2021.101917

Open Access: Open Access hybrid publication


SME multinationalization is an emerging yet underexplored topic in
internationalization research. Previous studies have focused on
identifying the key features of one ‘ideal’ multinationalization
approach but shed less light on the potential alternative approaches
that firms can use in different situations. Based on an empirical
multiple case study of eight SMEs, this study identifies four
alternative multinationalization strategies that SMEs can use (resource
seeking, hub reaching, serendipitous resource leveraging, and controlled
expansion) and illuminates their specific characteristics. The findings
of this study demonstrate that instead of one ‘ideal’ approach, there
are multiple strategies that SMEs can adopt for multinationalization and
suggest that each strategy is characterized by different FDI goals,
timing, organizational structure and value chain activities. Overall,
this study contributes to contemporary international business research
by advancing theorization on SME multinationalization.

Last updated on 2021-21-10 at 12:16