University of Leicester

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Understanding the de-internationalisation of entrepreneurial SMEs in a volatile context: A reconnoitre on the unique compositions of internal and external factors

journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-18, 11:39 authored by Vahid Jafari-Sadeghi, Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji, Pawan Budhwar, Demetris Vrontis
In recent years, the global business environment has witnessed a wave of de-internationalisation among not only multinationals but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This disengagement of cross-border activities is deemed to be driven by various firm-specific factors, as well as external factors. Building on the premise of the non-linear internationalisation debate and focusing on the dynamic capabilities view and institutional theory, this paper is set to disentangle the extent to which internal factors (IFs) and external factors (EFs) drive SMEs towards de-internationalisation. In doing so, we take advantage of a hybrid multilayer decision-making mathematical modelling approach to explore SME de-internationalisation at two levels. Our findings at the exhaustive level contribute to de-internationalisation literature by proposing distinct frameworks that highlight the interrelationship amongst IFs and EFs. Also, the results at the subordinate level constitute the identification of four unique compositions leading to different de-internationalisation modes. In this vein, we define two categories of factors, namely reducing and terminating factors, which drive SMEs into respectively partial and full de-internationalisation


Author affiliation

School of Business, University of Leicester


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

British Journal of Management







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