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Ii e - achtenhagen competences for internationalisation


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The upgrading of workforce skills is key to the competitiveness of SMEs. In today’s business environment there is a premium on innovation that enables firms to develop new products and services, new production processes and new business models. This requires both in-house innovation and the ability to absorb knowledge from other firms and organisations, both of which call for a skilled labour force. Skills are also a critical but understated resource for entrepreneurship seen in the sense of business creation. Similarly to workforce skills, entrepreneurship skills will boost the competitiveness of local businesses thanks to the improved strategic and management competences of the entrepreneur.

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Ii e - achtenhagen competences for internationalisation

  1. 1. Competences needed for growth through internationalization Leona Achtenhagen Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Development Jönköping International Business School 28 November 2012
  2. 2. SMEs own ranking of internationalization barriers 1. Lack of capital to finance export activities 2. Challenge to identify business opportunities on international markets 3. Limited information on how to identify and analyze markets 4. Difficulty to reach potential customers on international markets 5. Difficulty to find reliable international representativesSource: OECD-APEC (2007), cited in OECD (2009: 8)
  3. 3. Internationalization competence• Combination of knowledge, skills and personal variables related to successful internationalization Several, partly overlapping, dimensions
  4. 4. Different dimensions of internationalization competence: POMI modelPersonal international attitude/experienceOrganizational competences and resources Market competence Institutional competence
  5. 5. Personal international attitude/experience• International experience• Cultural understanding• Language skillsContribute to reducing the ’fear’ of internationalization and increase likelihood to identify opportunities in international markets
  6. 6. Organizational competences and resources• International innovativeness• Internationalization competence• International marketing competence Challenge to make knowledge work in practice
  7. 7. Market competence• International marketing• International business skills  Customers  Markets  Competition Tendency to view environmental risk as less dramatic
  8. 8. Institutional competence• Experience and knowledge regarding – Relevant actors – Institutional structures – Rules, norms and values characterizing the international market Institutional competence needs are highly company-specific!
  9. 9. The intention and potential to internationalize differ…INTENTION TO INTERNATIONALIZE e.g. e.g. high- tech high imitative e- commerce SMEs, ’bor companies n globals’ e.g. many e.g. locally low manufac- oriented turing micro-firms SMEs low high BUSINESS MODEL POTENTIAL
  10. 10. … requiring different competences and policy measures INTENTION TO INTERNATIONALIZE e.g. e.g. high- imitative e- tech commerce high companies SMEs, ’bor n globals’ O MI e.g. many e.g. locally manufac- low oriented turing micro- SMEs firms P low high BUSINESS MODEL POTENTIAL
  11. 11. Conclusions• Many internationalization barriers are relatd to lacking internationalization competence  Policy measures are needed to improve this competence!  Make available information more accessible• Different types of companies need different types of support
  12. 12. Report: ’Internationalization Competence of SMEs’ Leona Achtenhagen