Inderscience Publishers

The impact of decision-maker's identity on SME internationalisation: Do origins matter?

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This paper examines if the identity shaped by the region does have an influence on the owner-manager's managerial behaviour. A survey approach was chosen, addressing SMEs from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, to address the research aim. The hypotheses posed were investigated applying hierarchical cluster analysis. Based on it different clusters were identified relating to different types of owner-manager identity. The findings provide a fruitful base for a better understanding of the owner-manager's influence on the company's internationalisation process and assist in developing specific policies for different characters of owner-managers. Furthermore, the study's findings suggest that owner-managers of small countries are made of other sets of identities compared with their German counterparts indicating a different course of action in terms of internationalisation.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, internationalisation, entrepreneurial identity, business education, decision making, owner-managers, managerial behaviour, regions, origins, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, hierarchical cluster analysis, small countries, globalisation, global entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs, identity

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