Internationalization of Danish SMEs

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Pål Gundersen
This project tackles the issue of internationalization of Danish SMEs. In today`s globalised world, the normality of internationalization is constantly increasing. SMEs has become a crucial part of the global economy. In the EU, SMEs account for about 99 percent of the total number of enterprises (Eurostat, 2018). Thus, the individual economies are becoming increasingly dependent on the growth of the SMEs. Denmark with a market size, a little over five million people, are dependent on that the SMEs venture outside of their borders to reach the desired growth. (Eurostat, 2018). To stimulate the SMEs to internationalize, the Danish government has put multiple initiatives in place, to help the SMEs in their pursuit of internationalization. However, only a small share of the Danish SMEs, consider the export market to be a key factor to their growth potential (Statista, 2017c). On the other hand, the European Commission argues that the SMEs that internationalize, are way more competitive than their domestic counterparts (European Commission, 2017). Since there is a need for more Danish internationalizing SMEs, this thesis surrounds how the Danish SMEs can successfully increase this activity. Secondary data is conducted in the thesis. Two reasons for using secondary data, as opposed to primary data are identified. First, by conducting the research with secondary data, I can stay objective and let the findings dictate the analysis and present a conclusion based on facts. This gives the study a higher level of validity. Second, by using secondary sources I can cover the internationalization experiences of a larger number of SMEs, than I would have by conducting my own interviews. Thus, my argumentation and recommendation receive a higher level of reliability. Deductive methods were conducted in the thesis. A systematic literature review was conducted to give me, the researcher, an overview of the theoretical field, in the study of internationalization of Danish SMEs. A systematic literature review helps me as the researcher to stay objective by providing explicit descriptions of the research steps (Tranfield, Denyer, & Smart, 2003). The reliability and validity of the study is also increased as the steps are articulated in a review protocol. In the end of the synthesis of the literature review, a framework is presented with the main findings related to the research identified. Four blocks of important factors are identified for the Internationalization of Danish SMEs: Resources, Knoweldge, Networks and Host Marked Conditions. To follow up the review, ten case studies are presented. The ten case studies represent ten Danish SMEs that has internationalized and/or are currently internationalizing. The data is extracted from a PhD thesis conducted by (Myhre, 2017). The findings are presented in three categories; Strategy, Challenges and Recommendations of the Case firms. A discussion chapter follows, where the literature review findings and the case study findings are the topic of discussion. The discussion also includes data from the statistical site Statista, to further solidify the arguments. The discussion chapter ends with a discussion of the framework presented in the literature review. In the final chapter, a table with the conclusion is presented. The findings suggest that the key challenges for the Danish SMEs surround their Resources and Knowledge constraints. Further on, it is found that the SME managers can overcome these constraints by collaboration through networks. Secondly, opting for closer, safer and more similar markets, has been correlated with easier internationalization. However, should the SME choose to venture to markets located further away, low commitment modes of internationalization are recommended. Finally, it is found that the networks of Danish consultancy systems and other governmental initiatives, are beneficial for the internationalizing SMEs, and consequently should be taken advantage of.
Udgivelsesdato5 jun. 2018
Antal sider70
ID: 280428957