Dissertation by doctoral candidate Faisal Shahzad focuses on ways in which Finnish SMEs can enter markets in neighbouring countries

From 12:00-14:00 on 29 June, anyone interested will have the opportunity to follow the defence by Faisal Shahzad of his doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Determinants of Market Entry Mode for Finnish SMEs Entering Neighbouring Catch-up and Emerging Markets’, in the Canvas Conference environment.

The main purpose of the dissertation is to identify the determinants of the choice of market entry mode among SMEs from advanced markets that enter neighbouring catch-up and emerging markets. Shahzad highlights the fact that despite increased interest in the process of the internationalisation of SMEs, very few studies have been undertaken in order to identify how concurrent institutional, firm, country and industry-level factors affect the decision of market entry mode.


The empirical part of the study applies both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Findings from surveys with representatives of a range of companies and different industries show that formal institutions, organisational learning, the international strategy of a firm, technological intensity, industry growth and concentration, market potential and the host-market investment risk are significant factors which affect the choice of market entry mode for SMEs. The majority of respondents confirmed that capturing market share and generating more revenue were the main motives behind their foreign expansion, while the host-country investment risk, a lack of market knowledge and a weak network on the target market were the main constraints in the internationalisation of Finnish SMEs in Estonia and Russia.


There is no single theory which explains the internationalisation process of SMEs. As such, another significant contribution the dissertation makes is to provide a model for SME choice of market entry mode in emerging and catch-up economies.


The supervisor for the doctoral thesis is Professor Tiit Elenurm, PhD.


Anyone wishing to follow the defence should register by e-mailing Maarja Laos (maarja.laos@ebs.ee) by 17:00 on 26 June.