Orthodox international business theory holds that small firms are only players in domestic markets. To enter international markets, firms must grow past a certain size threshold, experiment incrementally in international markets, learn gradually, and build expertise before increasing their commitment. Since the mid 1960’s, however, a shift has occurred in the business and academic rhetoric toward the potential international contributions of SMEs. Consequently, a number of streams of literature relating to SMEs and globalization has emerged.
This makes the importance of this collection two-fold. Firstly, it draws together earlier literature on SME export development and internationalization from disparate sources into a cohesive body of work, tracing the evolution of the topic. Secondly, in the context of the emergence of academic and policy interest in international new ventures, it provides a useful context and backdrop to new theories that are emerging to challenge conventional wisdom. This set of five volumes provides scholars with a sense of where the field has come from to where it is heading.