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|INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT OF SMES:|
|ساعت ۱۱:٥٤ ب.ظ روز یکشنبه ٢٠ دی ۱۳۸۸ : توسط : عیسی ذوقی خبوشان|
Working Paper #02-58(21)
INTERNATIONAL INVOLVEMENT OF SMES:
Zulima Fernández1 and María J.Nieto2
This paper analyses the relation between SME ownership and international
Keywords: internationalization, corporate governance, SMEs.
1Management & Strategy Division, Universidad Carlos III, C/ Madrid 126 (Getafe), 28903; E-
* The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from Andersen M.B.C., Deloitte &
The process of SME internationalization has become very widespread in recent years, and
Prior research on governance systems has broadly studied the differences between
An SME can have different types of large shareholders. First of all we find family firms
Other SMEs have a company among their shareholders. This will allow the SMEs to more
This study focuses on the analysis of how different ownership types affect
We analyse the export strategy to study the involvement of SMEs in foreign markets. The
The paper is set out as follows. In the next section, we present the conceptual foundations
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESES
There are two broad theoretical approaches to the internationalization of the firm. One of
The eclectic theory and the resource-based view emphasize how, in order to compete with
This latter theory provides a more powerful vision of internationalization, as it explains the
In general, the idea of internationalization as a process of acquiring international
Exporting is a learning process, as it helps the firm to learn the characteristics of new
However, the ability of an SME to access or generate these resources can be affected by its
Little attention has been paid until now to an analysis of the relationship between different
In general there is evidence, though not fully conclusive, that concentrated ownership
In most continental European countries (such as Germany, Spain and Italy), as well as in
Among SME owners, we can distinguish between families and other companies. There are
In principle, family firms seem to have limited resources and capabilities. In particular, the
In a family firm, a high proportion of the owner’s wealth, and often of his/her family’s
Maintaining the family’s independence and control will affect the firm’s financial
The generation of new knowledge is a long process leading to uncertain results. The
Likewise, family firms usually have a low level of qualified staff for two reasons. In the
Moreover, according to available empirical research, decision-making in family firm
Finally, independence makes it hard to obtain information on international markets, in both
In short, the family firm finds it difficult to amass the internal and external knowledge that
Hypothesis 1: In SMEs, international involvement is negatively related to family
SMEs with a company as a shareholder would not be expected to suffer from the previous
These SMEs will have better access to financial markets thanks to their ties to that large-
Moreover, the shareholder-company can provide access to other resources the firm needs.
Together with this knowledge internally-generated, firms need external knowledge. Having
In conclusion, it is reasonable to think that another company investing in the SME could
company as a large-block shareholder.
In some family SMEs, the family share the firm’s capital with another company,
Together with these resources, managerial capabilities could be provided by the
Finally, this large shareholder can help to minimize uncertainty because it can provide
As a result, this combination of shareholders helps to professionalize management of the
ownership when a company is another large-block shareholder.
Data Set and Variables
The source for the empirical work is the Survey of Business Strategies (SBS). It is a firm-
In this study, the figure of 200 employees is taken as the upper limit for definition as an
Two dependent variables were used in the study to assess the degree of international
Propensity for exporting, indicates if the firm is a nonexporter, i.e. export sales are equal to
Export intensity, is measured by the ratio of export sales to total sales (EXPINT).
Different independent variables are included in the empirical models, as suggested by the
Family, the SME belongs to a family and one or more members of the owner family are in
Company, another company is a large-block shareholder in the SME (COM).
Family+company, identifies SMEs belonging to a family, with one or more family
Innovation. The empirical work generally concludes that innovation is an important factor
Alliances. Alliances and co-operative agreements can provide ways to improve the
Age. The firm’s age variable is used to control the firm’s experience and accumulated
Foreign. We control the origin of the company-shareholder investing in the SME, because
Size. We introduce the number of employees into the models, in order to control the effects
Table 1 summarizes the variables included in the empirical analysis. Table 2 contains the
Insert Tables 1 and 2 about here
Methodology and Results
Two basic empirical models of export behaviour are estimated to test our hypotheses. In
Model 1 is estimated in order to clarify the potential impact of the variables on the
Among the control variables, variable ALLIANC has a positive role in modelling the
Model 2 reveals that ownership type significantly affects the second dimension of
Insert Table 3 about here
The positive relationship of both ALLIANC and PID-1 with export intensity is as expected.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
The main focus of the paper is to analyse the influence of ownership type on the
The initial assumption, in accordance with the resource-based view, is the idea that
On the contrary, firms that have other companies as a large-block shareholders are in a
This can also occur in family firms having another company as a shareholder. The
To test our hypotheses we use a wide sample of Spanish manufacturing firms, from 1991 to
The results confirm the three stated hypotheses, although in the case of family firms no
Our second category of firms, on the contrary, are more competitively oriented, which
Of course the paper is not without limitations. First of all, the study has been carried out in
Finally, it would be appropriate to investigate the behaviour of different types of family
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Table 1. Variables included in the analysis
MeanSt.Dev.1 234 5 6 7891011
1. FAMILY 0.536 .498 1
2. COM 0.176 .381 -0.50 1
3. FAMCOM 0.031 .175 -0.18 0.37 1
4. PID(-1) 0.004 .019 -0.04 0.07 0.04 1
6. AGE 16.39 17.7 -0.15 0.16 0.02 0.03 0.07 1
7. FOREIGN 0.099 .299 -0.36 0.71 0.08 0.02 0.08 0.14 1
8. SIZE 44.5 47.8 -0.34 0.50 0.07 0.12 0.15 0.31 0.40 1
9. SECTOR 0.101 .054 -0.07 0.07 -0.01 0.08 0.01 0.02 0.09 0.09 1
10. PEXP 0.433 .495 -0.16 0.27 0.10 0.14 0.16 0.18 0.25 0.37 0.20 1
11. EXPINT 0.101 .205 -0.15 0.25 0.09 0.10 0.12 0.12 0.26 0.31 0.25 0.56 1
Total observations: 8497. ***p<0.01, **p<0.05, p*<0.10, z-statistics in brackets.
(a) Test on the irrelevance of individual effects (p-value).
1 In family businesses, the ownership may be distributed among several members of the family over the generations.
2 In fact, sequential focuses are based, though implicitly, on this assumption. After reviewing all the models that
3 With this definition of the family firm, it is possible to use as an identification criterion the family’s capacity of