Building international business bridges in geographically isolated areas: the role of Foreign Market Focus and Outward Looking Competences in Latin American SMEs

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This paper focuses on the internationalization of SMEs located in geographically isolated contexts like Latin America. We argue that strategic priorities towards foreign markets, Foreign Market Focus (FMF), as well as “Outward Looking Competences” (OLC) are important factors in enhancing productivity, and ultimately achieving a sustainable competitive presence abroad. FMF and OLC lay the foundation for setting better international business relations with foreign clients and increase opportunities for learning and attaining economies of scale. Results demonstrate the significance of FMF as a means of enhancing productivity only in manufacturing firms. OLC positively moderates the relation between FMF and productivity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-502
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
Early online date5 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Foreign Market Focus, Outward Looking Competences, Exports, Productivity, Latin American SMEs, Multilatinas