Purpose: The entrepreneur is the main decision-maker in small and medium-sized enterprises and is the principal force in the implementation of a firm’s international strategy. Research has paid limited attention to the intangible aspects of human capital, namely behavioural competencies that may have an impact on the entrepreneur’s ability to take advantage of international opportunities. This study addresses this gap, identifying the behavioural competencies that distinguish entrepreneurs who pursue a stronger internationalisation expansion beyond the European market. Design/methodology/approach: A competency modelling process is implemented for a sample of Italian entrepreneurs. Data on behavioural competencies are obtained through the coding of behavioural event interviews administrated to the entrepreneurs. Export intensity is adopted as a performance criterion to classify the entrepreneurs. Findings: Three behavioural competencies (change catalyst, teamwork, and organisational learning orientation) emerged as more significantly activated by entrepreneurs who show a higher export intensity in the global market. Research limitations/implications: The exploratory nature of the study, conducted in a small sample and in a specific geographical area, may reduce the generalisability of the findings. Practical implications: Entrepreneurs can become aware of the behavioural competencies needed for the implementation of internationalisation processes. Additionally, training programmes can be designed to promote the development of these behaviours. Originality/value: Bridging the literature on international entrepreneurship, cross-cultural studies and competency-based research, this study highlights the role of behavioural competencies in the internationalisation process from a micro level of analysis. This article proposes a competency framework that can be adopted to assess a broader portfolio of entrepreneurs’ behaviours.

Purpose: The entrepreneur is the main decision-maker in small and medium-sized enterprises and is the principal force in the implementation of a firm's international strategy. Research has paid limited attention to the intangible aspects of human capital, namely behavioural competencies that may have an impact on the entrepreneur's ability to take advantage of international opportunities. This study addresses this gap, identifying the behavioural competencies that distinguish entrepreneurs who pursue a stronger internationalisation expansion beyond the European market. Design/methodology/approach: A competency modelling process is implemented for a sample of Italian entrepreneurs. Data on behavioural competencies are obtained through the coding of behavioural event interviews administrated to the entrepreneurs. Export intensity is adopted as a performance criterion to classify the entrepreneurs. Findings: Three behavioural competencies (change catalyst, teamwork and organisational learning orientation) emerged as more significantly activated by entrepreneurs who show a higher export intensity in the global market. Research limitations/implications: The exploratory nature of the study, conducted in a small sample and in a specific geographical area, may reduce the generalisability of the findings. Practical implications: Entrepreneurs can become aware of the behavioural competencies needed for the implementation of internationalisation processes. Additionally, training programmes can be designed to promote the development of these behaviours. Originality/value: Bridging the literature on international entrepreneurship, cross-cultural studies and competency-based research, this study highlights the role of behavioural competencies in the internationalisation process from a micro level of analysis. This article proposes a competency framework that can be adopted to assess a broader portfolio of entrepreneurs' behaviours.

Entrepreneurs’ behavioural competencies for internationalisation: Exploratory insights from the Italian context

Cortellazzo, Laura;Bonesso, Sara;Gerli, Fabrizio
2020

Abstract

Purpose: The entrepreneur is the main decision-maker in small and medium-sized enterprises and is the principal force in the implementation of a firm’s international strategy. Research has paid limited attention to the intangible aspects of human capital, namely behavioural competencies that may have an impact on the entrepreneur’s ability to take advantage of international opportunities. This study addresses this gap, identifying the behavioural competencies that distinguish entrepreneurs who pursue a stronger internationalisation expansion beyond the European market. Design/methodology/approach: A competency modelling process is implemented for a sample of Italian entrepreneurs. Data on behavioural competencies are obtained through the coding of behavioural event interviews administrated to the entrepreneurs. Export intensity is adopted as a performance criterion to classify the entrepreneurs. Findings: Three behavioural competencies (change catalyst, teamwork, and organisational learning orientation) emerged as more significantly activated by entrepreneurs who show a higher export intensity in the global market. Research limitations/implications: The exploratory nature of the study, conducted in a small sample and in a specific geographical area, may reduce the generalisability of the findings. Practical implications: Entrepreneurs can become aware of the behavioural competencies needed for the implementation of internationalisation processes. Additionally, training programmes can be designed to promote the development of these behaviours. Originality/value: Bridging the literature on international entrepreneurship, cross-cultural studies and competency-based research, this study highlights the role of behavioural competencies in the internationalisation process from a micro level of analysis. This article proposes a competency framework that can be adopted to assess a broader portfolio of entrepreneurs’ behaviours.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3721930
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