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Preliminary communication

International diversification and performance improvement in Portuguese SMEs : The mediating role of international learning

António José Figueiredo ; Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Higher School of Technology and Management, Viseu, Portugal
António Robalo ; University Institute of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

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page 76-84

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International operations, with its multiplicity of objectives, can be seen as a diversification strategy, sometimes even as a strategic option taken as an effective alternative to product diversification. This work, focusing on a sample of SMEs of Portuguese manufacturing industries, analyzes the mediating role of experiential knowledge arising from the international learning, on the relationship between the international diversification strategies and performance. Data used were collected in 390 companies through an online questionnaire. Data analysis suggests the existence of this mediating effect, stressing therefore its importance as a potential source of competitive advantage. These results provide guidelines for managers and generate directions for future research.


international diversification, intensity, scope, international learning, international performance, mediating role

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