Macquarie University
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Internationalization of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a Pacific Island country - Fiji: is it institutional factors or management competence that is impeding the international performance of SMEs in Fiji? : a dissertation

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posted on 2022-03-28, 14:04 authored by Ashna Ashwini Chandra
The internationalization of SMEs has become an agenda for every economy in the world, and SME internationalization from small island nations (SINs) contributes considerably towards employment creation, poverty alleviation, technology diffusion, innovation and fiscal income. International expansion is a key growth strategy for SMEs and Multi National Enterprises (MNEs) to achieve long-term sustainable competitive advantage. Fiji being a developing country has a high percentage of food production especially in sugar, Fiji water, agriculture and fish, with low activity in service-based industries, including technology. This gives impetus for this study to help understand how SMEs from Fiji expand internationally. There has been ongoing debate on whether existing IB theories are adequate in explaining the internationalization of SMEs in developing and Pacific island countries, due to their unique situation and environment with location and climate. The aim of this thesis is to make a significant scholarly contribution towards the development of a theoretical framework aimed to better understand the various factors influencing the internationalization of SMEs from the perspective of small island nations. There is considerable attention given to entrepreneurship from developed countries. Although researchers have been investigating International Entrepreneurship for the last two decades, our knowledge on SME internationalization in developing countries and small island nations is still very limited. This thesis first provides a comprehensive systematic review of the topic specifically analysing the factors influencing SME internationalization in developing countries. It then analyses the internationalization of SMEs from a Pacific Island context - Fiji using a qualitative approach. Consequently, this thesis also empirically analyses the moderating impact of institutional environments and management competence on SME internationalization using a quantitative method.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Study I - Internationalization of SMEs from developing countries : a review and research agenda -- 3. Study II - Internationalization challenges for SMEs : evidence and theoretical extension -- 4. Study III - The effects of entrepreneurial orientation on SME internationalization in Fiji : the moderating role of management competence and institutions -- 5. Conclusion and implications -- 6. References -- 7. Appendices.


Empirical thesis. Bibliography: pages 165-200

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Macquarie Business School, Department of Management

Department, Centre or School

Department of Management

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Meena Chavan


Copyright Shivali Ashna Ashwini Chandra 2019. Copyright disclaimer:




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