Internationalization of small and medium sized UK manufacturing enterprises
: technology and knowledge transfer perspective

  • Oktay Ozdenli

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This dissertation examines internationalisation of small and medium sized enterprises. There has been a journey to achieve this. The research has started as an action research as Teaching Company Scheme Associate. This has been done in two research cycles, which investigated factors for
successful internationalisation of a small and medium sized UK
manufacturing enterprise. This has revealed that successful
internationalisation requires good technology and knowledge transfer to the new operations. The action research is followed by a survey that has been conducted within UK manufacturing companies. The data collected was analysed under three models: entry mode selection, role of factory and level of internationalisation. The first two models explain two major aspects of internationalisation decision. The last is showing what makes successful internationalising small and medium sized companies. These models provided several important results. The small and medium sized enterprise internationalisation is harder to achieve because most of these
organisations do not have experience in technology and knowledge transfer. The success of internationalisation depends on the success of the transfer. This is achieved through employee ownership of the new knowledge. There are many factors affecting this result such as the network relationships such as trust, control and commitment and cognitive distance between two organisations. The last is a product of the difference between prior knowledge and the required level of knowledge. The entry mode and role of factory are decided through these factors while the level of internationalisation can only be explained by absorptive
capacity of the recipient organisation and the technology transfer ability of the host organisation.
Date of Award6 Jun 2013
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBreno Nunes (Supervisor)


  • SME internationalisation
  • absorptive capacity
  • technology transfer ability
  • institutionalisation of new knowledge
  • network relationships

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