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Gender and international entry mode

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SMEs, internationalization, gender, FDI, export, entry modes

Abstract (summary)

This article examines whether male- and female-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) adopt different strategic directions when internationalising. We build on the notion of gendered socialisation and the resource-based view examining gender differences in international entry modes. We also analyse several contingencies in the relationship between gender and internationalisation. Findings indicate that female-led SMEs are more likely to internationalise via export than foreign direct investment (FDI). The results challenge conventional wisdom on the role of resources and capabilities accumulated with manager age in the process of internationalisation; younger female chief executive officers are more likely to internationalise via FDI. The results offer novel insights to the literature on internationalisation of SMEs calling for more attention towards the interplay of social norms and gendered structural arrangements, on the one hand, and entrepreneurial agency, on the other, for a better understanding of the internationalisation of female-led SMEs.

Publication Information

Pergelova, Albena, Fernando Angulo-Ruiz, and Desislava Yordanova, “Gender and international entry mode,” International Small Business Journal, 36 (6), 662-685. DOI:


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