Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Richard B. Johnson
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a significant role in most emerging and developing economies. To increase the probability of survival of their SMEs and achieve sustainable growth, some SME leaders expand their business operations beyond national borders by implementing internationalization strategies. Internationalization is crucial to SME survival. The conceptual framework of this study consisted of a multitheory model including stage model, network theory, and new venture theory. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the strategies that Turkish information communication technology (ICT) SME leaders used to internationalize their business operations. Ten SME leaders, who led a variety of high-tech service SMEs operating in the ICT service sector in Turkey, served as participants for this study. The company documents, reports, and government documents were used to triangulate the interview data. Yin's 5-step method to data analysis resulted in the development of 5 themes: Turkish SME leaders have an active role in internationalization, geographical distance and culture are the 2 main factors of consideration when developing internationalization strategies, managerial attitude supports internationalization, Turkish SME leaders choose low commitment entry methods when entering foreign markets, and relationships is the main source the SME leaders rely on when internationalizing. The findings of this study may help SME leaders to implement successful internationalization strategies to their business operations and achieve sustainable growth of their SMEs, which may contribute to social change by improving both local and host country economies and the well-being of their citizens.