Success through Trust, Control, and Learning? Contrasting the Drivers of SME Performance between Different Modes of Foreign Market Entry
Holtgrave M, Onay M
Globalization and international competition has driven a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter foreign markets. However, current knowledge on which factors determine SMEs’ foreign market performance and secure their success is limited. Using empirical data on 280 German SMEs’ activities in Arab markets, we contrast the performance effect of trust with those of control and learning (three of the most prominently studied success factors) across three different structural modes of market entry: non-equity entry, cooperative entry, and wholly-owned subsidiaries. Our results reveal marked differences between the three entry modes and we offer a detailed discussion of the underlying structural and cultural reasons. Consequently, this study allows for a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of SMEs’ foreign market performance and provides relevant advice as to which managerial approach to emphasize for which mode of foreign market entry.
SME; trust; control; learning; performance; market entry; Arab markets