Drivers of Internationalization Success: A Conjoint Choice Experiment on German SME Managers

Sascha Kraus*, Christine Mitter, Felix Eggers, Philipp Stieg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Internationalization is a common growth strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, SMEs face several challenges within the internationalization process. As SMEs are characterized by limited resources, managers are constantly involved in a decision-making process concerning the allocation of the SMEs' resources. Therefore, internationalization can be understood as a complex, multidimensional decision process. Based on a set of 2244 internationalization decisions made by German SME managers, the present study examines how eight strategic and structural factors drive the perceived international success of SMEs. When applying conjoint choice analysis, the results suggest that especially equity financing in the internationalization process, an appropriate market selection as well as proactive motives, and a long-term scope can drive SMEs' international success. Moreover, it becomes evident that strategic factors are more relevant for successful internationalization than structural factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Managerial Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)691-716
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Internationalization
  • SME
  • Conjoint analysis
  • Choice experiment
  • International success

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