Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize the issues, challenges, and impediments coming in the way of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) internationalization in small developing nations of South Pacific like Fiji and Samoa. Design/methodology/approach – The paper encompasses both quantitative and qualitative data. Analyses of antecedents are descriptive in nature, while establishing the relationship between intervening variables and outcomes are quantitative. For quantitative data, structured questionnaires are used, while for the collection of qualitative data, archival and library research methods are employed. Structured questionnaire is used to collect data from 118 and 78 sampled respondents in Fiji and Samoa, respectively, and statistical analysis is performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences package. Findings – These research findings pinpoint that the problem lies in evaluating the nature of issues affecting internationalization of SMEs. The results also show that the performance of Fijian and Samoan SMEs is same across different business sectors and those SMEs in these two countries exhibit different change patterns in their export growth. Research limitations/implications – The scope of the paper is limited only to the SMEs in Fiji and Samoa and cannot in any way be generalized to large firms. Practical implications – SMEs seeking to internationalize will need to learn a lot about the internal and external factors impacting their organizations. Many a times entrepreneurs believe that through sustained planning, they can reduce the shocks resulting from environmental uncertainty, however, in reality some of them may be able to benefit while others despite planning may not be able to overcome growth‐related problems, as they may require reactive action. Therefore, learning is essential in international expansion and so is having a clear understanding of the environment that entrepreneurs operate in. Future research should seek to highlight documented cases of SME internationalization. Originality/value – This paper is one of the important studies taken in the context of Pacific SMEs. The research that has been conducted in the past are mostly confined to Asian countries, with very little in the area of SME internationalization. The findings of this paper will have relevance for policy making and supportive measures at government levels for SME internationalization.
International Journal of Emerging Markets – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 13, 2010
Keywords: Small to medium‐sized enterprises; Fiji; Samoa; International business
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