The requisite match between internal resources and network ties to cope with knowledge scarcity

Alkis Thrassou, Demetris Vrontis, Maria Crescimanno, Marcella Giacomarra, Antonino Galati

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the internationalization strategies of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), focusing on the interaction between network ties and “soft” internal resources at the foundation of knowledge management (KM). Specifically, it identifies the firms’ internal capabilities that affect KM strategies, and their collective influence on the degree of internationalization; verifies the influence of network ties on the internationalization process itself; and develops a conceptual “preliminary theoretical framework of SME internationalization capabilities and networks.” Design/methodology/approach: The primary research and analysis are based on a proportional stratified sample of Sicilian wineries; while the conceptual and implicative developments of the paper rest on the combination of the theoretical with the primary findings of the research, and, it has been designed and tested through eight experts’ interviews/reviews. Findings: Findings underline a strong influence of the internal capabilities of firms on the internationalization process. In addition, an important role in the export process emerges from the acquisition of information and knowledge through the establishment of networks. Research limitations/implications: The results need to be interpreted within the context for which this study was designed and cannot be applied generally to all businesses. However, results allow cellars’ managers to better understand the relationships among the influencing factors of SMEs internationalization. Originality/value: The originality of the paper lies not only in its above-stated explicit theoretical objectives and findings but also in its comprehensive conceptual framework that theoretically incorporates the “strategic” with the “internal” and “networking” aspects; purposefully also arming the industry with a practicable tool toward managerial implementation.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


    • Capabilities
    • Internal resources
    • Internationalisation
    • Knowledge management
    • Knowledge scarcity
    • Networks
    • SMEs
    • Soft resources
    • Wine industry


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