The path to the internationalization of Lithuanian manufacturing SMEs

Audra Irene Mockaitis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Much has been written about the internationalization activities of multinational firms, and much attention in the literature has been given to the internationalization decisions of firms entering the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. However, we still know relatively little about the internationalization activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially manufacturing SMEs in the CEE region. With the enlargement of the European Union, at first glance it appears that many small and medium-sized firms now have greater opportunity for internationalizing their activities. Although it is generally held that SMEs have the flexibility and ability to adapt to their environment more quickly than large enterprises, SMEs must be able to use these advantages in internationalizing. This study looks at the internationalization activities of Lithuanian manufacturing SMEs. It seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of internationalization, through an examination of the degree and direction of internationalization and on what this depends. The results lend some support to incremental internationalization models. Although many SMEs in this study are not actively engaged in internationalization, most companies heavily rely on networks, which they may use as stepping-stones to foreign markets in the future. It is well known that SMEs are the most important drivers of the European Union (EU) economy, with their share comprising over 99 per cent of all European firms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship: Towards a Theory of Internationalization
EditorsLeo-Paul Dana, Isabell M Welpe, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten
Place of PublicationCheltenham UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Pages410 - 430
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781845425012
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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