This paper contributes to the growing body of knowledge in international entrepreneurship by reporting on a qualitative empirical investigation into the overseas expansion processes of small Asian (originating from the Indian sub-continent)-owned firms operating in the U.K. clothing industry. The key decision makers within these firms frequently identified themselves as an active, and important, influence upon the actual activities of their firms as international operators. For some firms though, a more passive approach to internationalisation could be identified, whereby the receipt of unsolicited orders had an effect on some firms' timing of overseas market entry. The balance between the nature of opportunities, that frequently derived from cultural networks, and the constraints of a limited resource base with which to exploit those opportunities, also had a major impact on the direction and pace of certain firms' overseas expansion. The findings suggest a general tendency to adopt an incremental approach to internationalisation within this mature trade sector. The cultural and business experience of managers, however, was found to have an effect on the pace and direction of the overseas expansion. Recommendations on the likely efficacy and effectiveness of public/private sector interaction within the area of international entrepreneurship involving entrepreneurs from Asian backgrounds are offered.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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