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Different approaches to the pursuit of internationalization by Italian SMEs

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse why Italian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) pursue internationalization (current and future entry modes, motivations, advantages and difficulties) and how they go about it, with reference to four key areas: innovation and technology, networking, environmental approach and human resource (HR) competences.The paper presents the results of a quantitative research on SMEs located in the Province of Monza and Brianza – one of the most productive territories in Italy. Four different clusters emerged with specific approaches. Briefly, this paper points out that: innovation is mostly linked to the product and is incremental; HR and their competences are crucial for facing complex markets; the green issue is not dominant (it is considered only for saving energy and reducing cost production); and networking is not a key issue (except informal relations, contractual agreements and strategic alliances).

ISSN: 1471-5201