The Impact of Geographic Diversification on Export Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dianne H.B. Welsh, Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Two alternative diversification strategies—the geographic diversification of export sales and key market concentration—are extensively discussed in management, strategy, entrepreneurship, and economics literature. However, no conclusive evidence currently exists as to how either of these strategies affects the performance of international sales. This paper contributes to a better understanding of geographic diversification as a key dimension of the internationalization process for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In it, we analyze a comprehensive database of Polish exporters over a 3-year period to better understand the geographic diversification patterns of exporters. Based on this analysis, six propositions emerged from the export patterns examined and two viable strategies for exporting SMEs are identified: (1) concentrating on a single market and (2) a balanced approach aimed at targeting a small number of key markets, combined with a strategy of penetrating other markets. Implications for practice and future research are also discussed herein.

Additional Information

Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 10(1), 70-93
Language: English
Date: 2012
exports, geographic diversification, market concentration, high-growth firms

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