SMEs' internationalisation: When does innovation matter?

George Saridakis, Bochra Idris, Jared M Hansen, Leo Paul Dana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this research is threefold: first, to investigate the role of goods, service, and process innovation on SMEs’ internationalisation (i.e., exporting); second, to investigate the association between innovation’s degree of novelty (radical innovation vs. incremental innovation) and SMEs’ internationalisation; and, third, to examine the combined effect of different types of innovation and the degrees of novelty of innovation on firms’ internationalisation and compare the findings with their individual effects. Data from 12,823 SMEs in the United Kingdom support the concept that innovative SMEs are more likely to export than non-innovative SMEs; however, the link between innovation and internationalisation differs according to the type of innovation introduced and the degree of novelty of the innovation. Of importance to managerial practice, the combined effects of different types and degrees of novelty of innovation are greater than their individual effects, creating a synergy or amplified effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-263
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date27 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Exporting
  • Goods innovation
  • Process innovation
  • SME internationalisation
  • Service innovation


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