Welcome to SMEs in the Global Economy 3
Success in your paper 3
Paper information 3
Pre-requisite/Co-requisite/Restriction requirements 3
Paper aim 3
Learning outcomes 4
Blackboard programme organisation 4
Required texts and recommended reading 4
Weekly programme 5
Assessment information 6
Extensions and other Special Consideration Applications (SCAs) 6
Penalty for late submission of assessment items 6
Assessment structure 6
Exam schedule 7
Pass requirements 7
Assessment event details 7
Disclaimer: Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the information in this document is subject to alteration. The information in this document was accurate at the time of publication, June, 2020.
Welcome to SMEs in the Global Economy
You are expected to read the contents of this study guide, also available on Blackboard under “All My Courses”.
This is a level 8 paper, worth 15 points. This paper runs for 12 weeks and has 1 session per week. Rooms can change at the last minute and are not listed in the paper study guide. Refer to
arion.aut.ac.nz for your current timetable AND to your paper’s page on Blackboard for any room
Teaching team and contact details:
• For support within the Faculty, see information on your Blackboard programme organisation.
• For AUT-wide academic and wellbeing support, visit the Student Digital Workspace, under the Learning Support and Student Life tabs.
1. Analyse the characteristics of SMEs and the implications for their internationalisation
2. Identify and critically evaluate SME internationalisation approaches
3. Compare and contrast approaches to strategy and internationalisation by SMEs and start-ups, with that of multinational enterprises
4. Examine issues and opportunities for SMEs in different national contexts
5. Analyse issues and recommend best practice for SME exporters
• The significance of SMEs in the global economy
• Characteristics of SMEs
• Motivations and constraints for SME internationalisation
• Internationalisation theories and the speed of internationalisation
• SME entrepreneurship and internationalisation
• The role of innovation in SME internationalisation
• SME and start-up strategy in international business
• SME exporting strategy and tactics
• SMEs in national contexts
Required texts and recommended reading
There is a list of assigned readings, which students are required to read before the relevant session in order to contribute fully in class. Other material such as business cases, will be made available through the semester. There is no prescribed textbook for this Paper.
Week Topic Readings and other resources
1 Introduction to the Paper; Significance of SMEs in the global economy World Trade Organisation (2016). World trade report 2016: Levelling the trading field for SMEs. Retrieved 30 January 2018, from https://www.wto.org/english
2 SME motivations and constraints to internationalising Paul, J., Parthasarathy, S. & Gupta, P. (2017). Exporting challenges of SMEs: A review and future
research agenda. Journal of World Business, 52(3), 327-342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2017.01.003
3 Traditional SME internationalisation Johanson, J. & Vahlne, J.E. (1977). The internationalisation process of the firm – A model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments. Journal of International
Business Studies, 8(1), 23-32. https://doi- org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490676
4 Born global SMEs Oviatt, B. M. & McDougall, P.P. (2005). Defining international entrepreneurship and modeling the speed of internationalization. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice 29(5), 537-553. https://doi.org/ 10.111/j.1540-6520.2005.00097.x
Knight, G.A. & Cavusgil, S.T. (2004). Innovation, organizational capabilities and the born global firm. Journal of International Business Studies, 35 (2), 124-
5 SME entrepreneurship and innovation Burns, P. (2016, Chapter 3 & 4). Entrepreneurship and small business: Start-up, growth and maturity.
London, England: Palgrave
6 SME entrepreneurship and innovation continued
*Guest speaker Blank, S. (2013, March). Why the lean start-up
changes everything. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 63-72.
7 SME start-up strategy and internationalisation Shu, E. (2017). Emergent strategy in an entrepreneurial firm: The case of Lenovo in its formative years.
International Journal of Emerging Markets,12 (3), 625-636. https://doi.org/10.1108/ IJoEM-01-2016-0016
8 SME exporting strategy New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (n.d.). Export essentials guides. Retrieved from
9 SME exporting – trade finance and logistics Class handout
10 SMEs in national contexts Sandberg, S. & Jansson, H. (2014). Collective internationalization – a new take off route for SMEs from China. Journal of Asian Business Studies, 8(1), 29-42. doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.1108/JABS-09-2012-
11 Business Proposal workshop Blank, S. (2013). Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 63–72.
12 Course debrief and reflection, and
final assessment preparation Submit Business Proposal
Item % of mark allocation Maximum mark Group/individual Due date
Assessment 1: SME Report 25% 25 Individual Approval form: Week 2 9.00am, Friday 17 July 2020
Report: Week 6
9.00am, Monday 10
Students are expected to attempt every assessment event. In order to gain a pass in this paper you must
obtain at least a “C-“ (50%) grade overall in the paper.
Assessment event details
Assessment 1: SME Report
Due date Week 2: Approval form 9.00am, Friday 17 July 2020 Week 6: Report
9.00am, Monday 10 August 2020
Length 1,500 words
Submission Week 2: Approval form
Week 6: Report to Turnitin
Requirements You are required to identify an SME of your choice and write a concise report
that analyses and evaluates the firm’s international business. Your chosen SME can be from any country but must sell to at least one market outside its home country.
You will submit an approval form (download from Blackboard) in Week 2 to receive approval for your chosen SME.
Your report should:
• Provide a brief overview of the business, including company name, products/services as well as other relevant information such as ownership, age, size, facilities and resources
• Succinctly describe the company’s international business, for example, when they internationalised, foreign market/s, mode of entry. This might include information on the foreign market to provide context e.g. industry sector, customers, competition
• Apply concepts from weeks 2- 5 to analyse and evaluate the firm’s international business. This is a key section of your report and you should draw on a good range of class concepts and demonstrate in-depth understanding of how they apply to the business in practice.
• Acknowledge all sources with in-text references and a reference list.
Your report should use the following format:
• Title Page (include name, ID and stream number), Introduction, Findings, Discussion and Conclusion.
• 12point font, 1.5 line spacing and page numbering
This assessment must follow the academic integrity guidelines stated in the Business Programmes Assessment and Study Handbook or the Law Programmes
Assessment and Study Handbook and use the required referencing style. As part of these guidelines, you must not:
• rely on existing analysis of the company published by others
• ‘cut and paste’ from your sources. Instead, paraphrase researched information in your own words
Programme learning goals 2. Be effective thinkers and problem-solvers
3. Be effective communicators (written and oral)
4. Be able to apply international business knowledge to issues in professional
international business practice
Paper learning outcomes 1. Analyse the characteristics of SMEs and the implications for their internationalisation
2. Identify and critically evaluate SME internationalisation approaches
4. Examine issues and opportunities for SMEs in different nationalcontexts