Searching for a new perspective on institutions, networks and the internationalisation of SMEs in emerging economies: a systematic literature review

Ofer, D.-D., Marta, N.-J., Peter, S., Simba, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0276-8211 and Shlomo, T., 2021. Searching for a new perspective on institutions, networks and the internationalisation of SMEs in emerging economies: a systematic literature review. International Marketing Review. ISSN 0265-1335

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Abstract

This systematic review focuses on the internationalisation of SMEs originating in developing countries. It critically analyses, evaluates and synthesises studies featuring formal and informal institutions, embedded in social and business networks, as a marketing solution for institutional voids. The review shows that current international marketing studies downplay the role of informal institutions in the internationalisation of SMEs. Thus, we set a new research agenda for advancing institutional theory to account for the impact of informal institutions and networks on firm internationalisation.

Our review followed five structured stages including framing the research questions, identifying relevant studies, assessing their quality, summarizing the evidence, and interpreting the findings. Based on our systematic approach 434 papers (374 from Web of Science, 60 from Scopus) were generated. Following that we applied the qualitative inclusion/exclusion criteria which yielded 63 papers. Their analysis involved three authors with the fourth author focusing on ensuring quality in the analysis.

Our findings invite a different line of theorizing market structures and processes focusing on the role of networks as an alternative to formal institutional systems. The outcome of our review suggests that there is scope for developing institutional theory that account for the role of informal institutions and networks.

Based on our analysis, we call for new theorisation, in the international marketing literature, which accounts for informal networking amongst internationalizing SMEs in the light of institutional voids. Thus, we promote novel participatory, bottom to top understanding of relationship between institutions and enterprises.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Marketing Review
Creators: Ofer, D.-D., Marta, N.-J., Peter, S., Simba, A. and Shlomo, T.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 13 May 2021
ISSN: 0265-1335
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1108/IMR-12-2020-0303DOI
1433602Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 29 Apr 2021 11:28
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:02
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42777

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