Contextualizing internationalization decision-making research in SMEs: towards an integration of existing studies

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  • Qatar University


This paper advances research on SME internationalization decision-making through considering the relevance of its context. It systematically reviews empirical studies, together with conceptual papers and other reviews in related disciplines, in order to identify gaps in the literature. This provides the basis for an analytical framework that incorporates four aspects of context (decision, decision-makers, firm and environment), two stages of the decision process (decision-making and implementation), and two sets of outcomes (decision and organizational outcomes). The article argues that greater theoretical integration is possible through examining the links between these factors in the light of insights from several perspectives. It also offers a number of specific contributions within its overall objective of advancing future research on decision-making of internationalizing SMEs through its contextualization.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Management Review
Early online date28 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Feb 2020


  • Context, SMEs, decision-making, internationalization, literature review