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Internationalization Business Models and Patterns of SMEs and MNEs: A Qualitative Multi-Case Study in the Agrifood Sector

Juan García-Álvarez de Perea (), Carolina Ramírez-García () and Aida Del Cubo-Molina ()
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Juan García-Álvarez de Perea: Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Pablo de Olavide University, Carretera de Utrera Km 1, 41013 Seville, Spain
Carolina Ramírez-García: Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Pablo de Olavide University, Carretera de Utrera Km 1, 41013 Seville, Spain
Aida Del Cubo-Molina: Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, Pablo de Olavide University, Carretera de Utrera Km 1, 41013 Seville, Spain

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 11, issue 10, 1-26

Abstract: Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in the agri-food sector have been overcoming internationalization barriers. However, research is scarce, specifically to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, despite the importance of the sector. The main aim of our study is to explore the archetypes and internationalization pace of internationalized SMEs and MNEs in the agri-food sector, adopting an external perspective and an empirical approach. More particularly, the influence of the interaction of demand-side innovation and management control systems (MCSs) in companies in the industry is examined. A qualitative research design was developed in order to achieve an in-depth understanding of the contextual factors affecting international SMEs and MNEs in the agri-food sector. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with three SME and three MNE managers. Our findings suggest that SMEs are not fundamentally different from MNEs—both types of organizations best fit the Casino model archetype. It was also found that strong competition helps the development of collaborative innovation, directing advancement toward fulfilling consumer demand. MCSs are neither communicating information nor managing perceived risks by creating trust and confidence; they are mostly used for diagnostic purposes, not substantially influencing the innovation process.

Keywords: international SMEs; international business models; internationalization archetypes; management control systems; innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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