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The emergence process of an international network of SMEs and the evolution of the leader’s role

Virginie Gallego-Roquelaure ()
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Virginie Gallego-Roquelaure: University of Lyon

Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2020, vol. 18, issue 1, No 3, 44-62

Abstract: Abstract This research focuses on the evolution of the leader’s role in the emergence of an international network of SMEs. A longitudinal study was conducted among SMEs wishing to develop an international network in Tunisia. A number of SME managers among with some collaborators and partners involved in the project were interviewed. The study reveals the evolution of a leader’s entrepreneurial competencies as this network evolves along several stages. Three key stages have been highlighted: identifying an opportunity for an international network driven by a visionary leader whose main characteristic is curiosity; assessing the opportunity, based on a consolidating leader whose main characteristic is leadership; and exploiting the opportunity, requiring a federating leader whose main characteristic is empathy. A process makes it possible to identify the evolution of competencies, highlighting 3 key characteristics: curiosity, leadership and empathy mobilized throughout the emergence of this network.

Keywords: International network; Leadership; Resource-based view; SMEs; Réseau international; Leadership; Resource-Based-View; PME (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10843-019-00258-z

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