SME internationalization and the role of global cities : a tentative conceptualization

Régnier, Philippe (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Wild, Pascal (School of Management Fribourg, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

This paper suggests a tentative conceptual framework to study the internationalization of SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), and the role of global cities as major business hubs providing a wide range of financial and non-financial supportive services facilitating market entry. The hypothesis is that a number of global cities (about 80 cities are classified and ranked as such worldwide) play an important intermediation role, including vis-à-vis newly emerging markets. The study of global cities has been envisaged so far exclusively in terms of their global growth as contributed by transnational corporations (TNCs). The existing literature reveals that their business intermediation role has been studied in terms of their exceptional geo-economic location and their qualitative infrastructure provided to transnational corporations and their affiliates. In addition, highly specialized services tend to concentrate their regional offices and management logistics in global cities to serve TNCs. In comparison with TNCs, the intermediation role played by global cities has not been investigated in the case of SME internationalization. Few papers exist even in the case of transnational SMEs or globally-born SMEs. This article aims to explore the possible elements of a conceptual framework targeting this subject. On the one hand, it examines various segments of the IBM literature dealing with SME internationalization, which could be relevant. On the other hand, it identifies pertinent contributions from the new economic geography and sociology of global cities, and from international classifications and rankings of global cities as introduced into the literature since the early 2000s. Finally, inter-disciplinary linkages between these two sets of knowledge are suggested.

Conference Type:
full paper
Economie et Services
Birmingham, United Kingdom, 12-14 April 2018
Birmingham, United Kingdom
12-14 April 2018
13 p.
Published in:
Proceedings of the 45th Academy of International Business (UK & Ireland Chapter) Annual Conference
Appears in Collection:

Note: The status of this file is: restricted

 Record created 2018-06-18, last modified 2020-10-27

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)