The objective of the mixed-methods research project was to expand understanding of economic incentives and barriers to international expansion for small and medium sized enterprises located in the coastal counties of South Carolina. Growing global markets are linked to increased opportunities for smaller enterprises to participate in international commerce. Limited understanding of incentives that enable success and techniques effective for overcoming barriers that restrict South Carolina firms from rewarding participation in international markets was the research problem addressed in the study. The purpose of the study was to explore the international expansion experience of leaders for South Carolina small and medium-sized enterprises and examine differences in leader-perceived levels of success for Lowcountry firms because of international status. The project was a mixed methods study using an exploratory, sequential design with an initial stream employing qualitative techniques followed by a subsequent stream using quantitative tools to analyze survey data. Qualitative interview techniques were used to engage a limited number of firms to acquire data on common internationalization experiences among participants. Three internationalization incentives and three barriers were identified. Hypotheses developed from the initial strand of the project were then answered using analysis of survey data collected via a census of the available population. Triangulation of data from two phases of the mixed-methods study revealed foreign market opportunity and supply chain resources as incentives, and ample domestic-market opportunity as a significant barrier to international commerce. Leaders of internationally active firms reported larger customer bases, larger numbers of employees, higher levels of competition, and higher five-year average rates of revenue growth.
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Management, Commerce-Business|
|Keywords:||International commerce, International commerce barriers, Mixed methods study, Small and medium sized enterprises, South carolina, internationalization|
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