Paper info: The role of home country institutional agents (HCIAs) in supporting the internationalization efforts of SMEs
The role of home country institutional agents (HCIAs) in supporting the internationalization efforts of SMEs
Valerie Lindsay,Michel Rod and Nicholas Ashill
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Sri Lanka in 2018.
Acknowledging that SMEs contribute significantly to the economic growth of both developed and developing nations, this study examines how home country institutions (HCIs) support the internationalization of SMEs. Recent research has examined whether HCIs are supportive of the internationalization of SMEs, however, little is known about how such support is facilitated. In this study, we specifically examine the process by which HCIs provide support, particularly through the activities of home country institutional agents (HCIAs). We draw on the concepts of boundary-spanning and brokerage to conceptualize this process. Boundary spanning involves the establishment of links by HCIAs between SMEs and relevant knowledge, and the actors that facilitate their internationalization process in a host market. The process that boundary spanners use to connect two actors is one of brokerage. Utilizing interview data from New Zealand SMEs internationalizing into India and China, we identify a range of HCIAs that facilitate SME internationalization that are regulative, normative and cognitive in nature. In doing so, we provide deep insights to the questions of which HCIs support SME internationalization, and how they achieve this. Our findings have a number of research implications relating to SME internationalization and institutional support, as well as insights for policy-makers and SME managers