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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2020

Determinants and performance implications of export-related risks in SMEs: a research agenda

Carole Maurel


This paper presents a research project aimed at filling in the gap observed in SMEs' risk management research. Indeed, internationalization is often associated to a higher degree of (perceived) uncertainty, and SMEs are often considered as more vulnerable that larger firms (Altman et al., 2010). Moreover, as Oviatt et al. (2004) earlier, the systematic literature review on risk management in SMEs, proposed by Falkner and Hiebl (2015) highlights the key role of a risk management process in SMEs. It also presents contradictory results on the perception of risk associated with internationalization when compared to a domestic activity. The literature tackles the issue of risk and internationalization in several ways without proposing a global model around SME internationalization-related risk and risk management: does internationalization weaken the level of risk of SMEs (for example Lee et al., 2012 or Gupta et al., 2014)? Does the perception of export-related risks depend on specific factors (for example the export experience, in Masurel, 2001)? What is the impact of perceived risk in the internationalization process of SMEs (for example Eduardsen and Marinova, 2016)?... Facing all those questions, and a lot more, we think it is necessary to propose a conceptual model of export-related (and more globally internationalization-related) risk and risk management in SMEs, gathering their determinants and well as their performance implications. This project is composed of several steps: (a) Identify the perception of SMEs' managers towards export and internationalization-related risks, as well as their practices in terms of risk management: this first step has already started and some results show that the manager does not always perceive the different risks, and that the management is often informal, rather than being organized. (b) Propose a model of export-related risk management in SMEs, according to the size, the activity, the level of internationalization of the firm, as well as the nature of their internationalization process (incremental, rapid…). (c) Enrich this model by analyzing the determinants of risk on the one hand, and the determinants of risk management on the other hand. (d) Enrich this model by analyzing the performance implications of each kind of export-related risk management system. (e) because exporting firms also often use other entry modes, this approach will be extended to other more constraining entry modes such as alliances, or even foreign subsidiaries. This project has been first applied to SMEs from a single industry, namely the wine industry, in an exploratory approach. However, it will also target other sectors, in order to increase the significance of the model and contribute to a greater extent to the literature. The empirical study is a mixed one: It is composed of an exploratory study aimed at identifying the practices of SMEs, followed by a quantitative study with a questionnaire aimed at applying the model (determinants-risk perception-risk management-performance implications). This project aims at helping exporting and internationalizing SMEs to understand the drivers and the consequences of their perception of risks and the way they manage them, in order to improve their performance.
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Dates et versions

hal-02459216 , version 1 (29-01-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02459216 , version 1


Carole Maurel. Determinants and performance implications of export-related risks in SMEs: a research agenda. 3rd Workshop on Export Management, Jan 2020, Paris, France. ⟨hal-02459216⟩
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