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Abstract

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are vital for a country's economy considering export growth, creation of job opportunities, and general economic development (Mtigwe, 2005). Thus, acknowledging the societal importance of SMEs in general and internationalization of SMEs in particular, it is puzzling how little research attention this area attracts. One reason why few internationalization studies focus on SMEs is that international involvement is a resource-demanding activity, and most SMEs operate under tight resource constraints resulting in low freedom of action. Among SMEs that are involved in international business, export is often the preferred entry mode. In this research, export is included as the entry strategy component of the international establishment model called the modified PSE model. Since the original PSE model was developed for large corporations entering emerging markets, it has been altered to fit SMEs entering foreign markets through export. The modified PSE model is based on four components: perception of internationalization barriers; strategy competence; entry strategy; and performance. All empirical material for this study will come from small and medium sized furniture producers in Sweden. Along with a theoretical discussion, this conference paper includes a presentation of the research model, sample frame, and research design.

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