The Internationalization Behavior of SMEs from a Purchase Perspective

  •  David Iubel de Oliveira Pereira    
  •  Marcelo Cleto    


The aim of present study was to analyze the internationalization behavior of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) regarding purchases using four questions: why, what, when and where. Structured interviews were conducted at SMEs located in the city of Curitiba and Metropolitan Region, Brazil, which dealt with the machinery and equipment sector. Regarding the reasons for internationalization (why), the main results showed agreement with motivators associated with cheaper products, advanced technology, higher quality and exclusivity, as well as an expectation of increasing organizational competitiveness. Internationalization items (what) sought out by SMEs were mostly items considered strategic. Regarding internationalization period (when), younger companies tended to start their internationalization process earlier. However, both the age of the company and the year of international entry did not directly explain or influence international expansion. Finally, place of internationalization (where) showed that a variety of countries have been involved with SMEs since their creation. However, the age of the company and the age of international entry could not directly explain or influence international geographic speed (entry into new countries).

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