1st Edition

Managerial Relationships and SMEs Internationalization Un-weaving the Fabric of Business Performance

    As the "backbone of the economy," small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are key players in the dynamics of local, regional, and global markets, and are often obliged to provide timely responses to the increasingly fierce cross-border competition. However, SMEs internationalisation has temporarily been subject to a wait-and-see policy under the numerous uncertainties and global systemic disruptions. Despite the "new normal" brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, recent studies show that the future still holds the potential to avail business performance opportunities to SMEs, and the hopes of managers for the years to come are reasonably high.

    Adopting a relationship-centric perspective, the book proposes a deeper analysis of the role of managerial relationship building and development and SMEs internationalization. In the networked economy, relationships are the invisible threads of the highly interconnected world. Either we call them connections, ties, bonds, or links, they are present everywhere marking the very essence of our lives, therefore claiming for wide consideration.

    Giving way to a stepwise screening of relationships and SMEs internationalization, the book is simultaneously addressed to scholars from different fields of study (i.e., international management, international business, international relationship marketing, etc.) and worldwide decision-makers (i.e., entrepreneurs and managers) interested in conducting smart business abroad.

    1. Introduction: The relationship-centric SMEs internationalization

    PART I. Relationships and SMEs internationalization: A zoom-out perspective

    2. Macro factors influencing the SMEs sector

    3. Towards further contextualization of SMEs internationalization

    4. A phenomenological overview: The Central and Eastern European region and SMEs internationalization

    PART II. Relationships and SMEs internationalization: A zoom-in perspective

    5. Relationship marketing and SMEs internationalization

    6. Leveraging the Managerial Global Mindset for SMEs internationalization

    7. A relationship-centric model of SMEs internationalization: Advancing the 5 Cs

    8. Back to the future: Instead of conclusions


    Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Management (SNSPA), Bucharest, Romania, Head of the Management Department, and Director of the Centre for Research in Management.

    Andreea Mitan is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Management (SNSPA), Bucharest, Romania, Executive Director of the Centre for Research in Management, and CEO of the Norwegian-Romanian Chamber of Commerce.

    "Vătămănescu and Mitan’s focus on SMEs and internationalization is very timely. SMEs, and especially those from Central and Eastern Europe, play a vital role in local, regional, and global markets. The authors provide important and valuable analysis of how SMEs use relationships in their internationalization processes." Professor Andrew Inkpen, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona State University, USA, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

    "By advocating for the diverse range of managerial relationships, this book offers new insights into the intricacies of SMEs' internationalization. It delves deeply into multi-layered relational designs while also considering both macro and micro environments." Professor Pedro Soto-Acosta, University of Murcia, Spain

    "The architecture of the book is designed on a convergent dual perspective of zooming-out and zooming-in analyses. The logic is clear. Internalization is a process of transforming the potential physical and non-physical capital of any SME into a successful enterprise beyond the domestic borders and over the barriers of the global business fabric. The authors reveal the power of the managers’ global mindset in un-weaving the fabric of international business and designing their knowledge and business strategies based on entropic, nonlinear and probabilistic ways of thinking in a complex world." Professor Emeritus Constantin Bratianu, UNESCO Department for Business Administration, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, President of the International Association for Knowledge Management, Padua University, Italy