Conceptualizing the relationship quality approach for early internationalization of small businesses


Despite the inherent liability of resouce scarity, superior performance of small and medium enterprises in foreign market operations has made the study of small firm internationalization a focus of many scholars. Although investigation into the phenomenon abound, the complexity of international business generates intricacy into the research process. This paper discusses an investigation grounded on the composite of Internalization Models, namely the Uppsala MODEL and the Resource-based view. The explication highlights the critical role of organizational resources and capabilities in laveraging relationships quality with a foreign partner to internationalize at a faster rate. The underlying argument its that a lack of financial and human resources pose a contraint to small business to internally generate foreign market knowledgeto identify opportunities. Small business acquire knowledge by laveraging quality as a proxy to the level of knowledge acquisition where the relationship acts as a conduit to information flow. Finally, a conceptual model is proposed and several propositions are also suggested. 

Keywords: Relationship quality, Small business, Emerging market, Internationalization, Resource based view and Uppasala model


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