This paper reports a comparative qualitative study of how decision-makers in internationalizing SMEs respond to relevant institutions in their domestic environment through networking activity. Twenty SMEs are compared respectively from a developing economy (Egypt) and a developed economy (UK). The two countries contrast both in the effectiveness of their institutional support for SMEs and in their cultural norms towards network relationships. Substantial differences are found between the two national samples in SME decision makers’ networking behaviour in response to specific institutional conditions. The links between institutional conditions, national cultural norms and SME networking responses are explicated in a new theoretical model.
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- Institutional voids
- Level of economic development
- SME internationalisation
- Emerging economies