Management summary Research study „The effect of industry-specific networking behaviour on the internationalization performance of Czech SMEs“
This paper aims to develop a thorough understanding of industry-specific networking behaviour on the internationalization performance of Czech small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We have used a deviation-ideal profile methodology to explore the ideal networking behaviour profile of different industries. We argue that firms adhering to ideal profiles performed well in the international market, while firms deviating from the ideal profile
performed poorly. Data were collected through an online questionnaire specifically targeted at Czech SME executives. We attempted to explore these issues by using four aspects of networking behaviour to test the ideal networking behaviour profile of five different industries (automotive, telecommunications, construction, audit and finance and transportation). These aspects were proactivity, commitment, strategy, and tie strength. We have identified different ideal networking behaviour profile for three industries, which underpinned supported the hypothesis that each dimension of networking behaviour should be finetuned for each sector to achieve to attain maximum benefits and performance in the international market. More specifically, the executives in the construction industry should focus more on building a long-term relationship while internationalizing abroad and attention should be on developing a long-term relationship with the highest emphasis on tie strength and less on looking for increased performance throughout temporary partnerships. In the transportation and logistics, ideal profiles depict that: executives should focus on commitment and tie-strength though less than the requirement in the construction industry. Similarly, the emphasis on proactivity was even less compared to the construction. In the automotive industry, we found an equally high emphasis on proactivity, commitment, strategy and tie strength, i.e. all networking behaviour dimensions are significantly important.
Although previous studies supported the role of networking behaviour in improving internationalization performance, multiple studies had also provided conflicting results on how networking affects different industries and it is unclear how and why networking affects these various industries differently. We believe that the results research provides empirical evidence in proving that different networking dimensions should be fine-tuned as per industry to achieve the highest performance in the international market. Moreover, the findings broaden the current understanding of the role of networks in the internationalization. Furthermore, we believe that the findings extend the current understanding of the role of networks in the internationalization of SMEs.
Target groups of stakeholders: Top management, business owners
Citation: Srivastava, M., Tyll, L., (2020). The effect of industry-specific networking behaviour on the internationalization performance of Czech SMEs. EBR