International Performance of Small and Medium-Sized Firms: The role of Proactiveness, International Experience and Networks


  • Carlos Sandoval-Álvarez Universidad de Costa Rica


The objective of this research is to examine the effect of proactive managerial behavior and international business networks on three dimensions of international performance exhibited by an SME. Specifically, the export intensity, speed, and geographical scope of the sales abroad. In addition, we evaluate if managers with international experience take more proactive stances and use international networks when dealing with foreign markets. We tested a research model applying structural equation modeling techniques to a sample of 130 Costa Rican exporting firms. The results reveal that the international experience is not related to the intense use of international networks to deal with foreign markets. Rather, international experience is associated with high levels of proactive stances towards foreign market opportunities, which in turn, positively affect an SME's export intensity. However, the geographical scope of its export sales and the speed of internationalization, seem to be unrelated to a manager's level of proactiveness in foreign markets.


International performance, Proactiveness, International networks, Small and Medium-sized firms, International experience


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