Copenhagen, Denmark

Internationalization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

when 24 June 2024 - 11 July 2024
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee DKK 6000

As business grows increasingly international due to the interaction, exchange, and interdependence amongst nations, firms, and people around the world, more firms are confronting this exciting yet challenging dynamic.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no exception. SMEs are important players in most economies around the world, and with the acceleration of globalization processes, a record number of SMEs have begun to take advantage of new environmental conditions presenting opportunities for international growth.

SMEs are no longer considered to be miniature versions of large firms. Indeed, they are now understood to be particular enterprises with specific characteristics, specifically in the ways in which they develop strategies for sustainable growth, lead responsibly, approach investments, contribute to societal sustainability, and manage human capital.

Globalization both poses dramatic new competitive challenges and also offers new opportunities which are increasingly important to the competitiveness of enterprises of all sizes. Success in the global arena demands mindsets that can develop strategies by blending skills and experiences of entrepreneurial firms with those of large international companies.

This course aims to help students make sense of how this international dynamic impacts SMEs.

We begin by discussing the specific characteristics of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) paying particular attention to their prevalence, significance, and economic contribution to most economies around the globe, followed by an examination of their (dis)advantages. The course outlines various types of SMEs including but not limited to micro-businesses, startups, and family firms. Thereafter, we discuss the ways in which SMEs internationalize, and why. Theories of international business and sustainability will be studied, focusing specifically on SMEs and the ways in which they strategize in an ever more complex interdependent global business environment.

Preliminary assignment: The preliminary assignment is intended to help students get maximum value from ISUP courses. The lecturer will assign several readings and multimedia resources which students will be expected to have read and viewed before the course begins. Students are assigned questions pertaining the preliminary readings and will be expected to discuss these questions in the first lecture. This assignment is intended to help 'jump-start' the learning process before the first lecture.

Class 1: Contextualizing Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs): Definition & significance (+case method introduction)

Class 2:SME ownership and governance: The impact of owner & board hetero/homogeneity

Class 3:Competitive advantage(s) of SMEs & determinants of SME internationalization

Feedback activity: Project topic proposal will be submitted by end of week 1 to allow time for feedback.

Class 4: Strategic management of SMEs

Class 5: Theoretical foundations of internationalization and sustainability: history and context

Class 6: Classical approaches towards SME internationalization

Class 7: The Internationalization processes of SMEs: context & regional differences

Class 8: Drivers of sustainable international growth: Human capital, social capital, & board influence

Class 9: Internationalization strategies for SMEs: the beauty of Born Globals

Class 10: 21st Century sustainable leadership: SME competences

Class 11: The competitive advantages of international SMEs

Course leader

Anne Sluhan - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business

Bersant Hobdari - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business

Target group

This is a graduate level course. CBS Summer University courses at Copenhagen Business School is open to all and welcomes domestic and international students as well as professionals.

Course aim

Upon completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows. The student:

- is well-acquainted with characteristics of SMEs,international business, and sustainable management,
- can distinguish between the different types of SMEs, outlining dis/advantages of each,
- is familiar with business environments faced by SMEs and the impact they have in foreign markets,
- is familiar with ethical issues inherent in doing business internationally,
- can critically discuss the main theories of international business and sustainability/CSR,
- can gather data, evaluate them, and draw appropriate conclusions,
- can explain the latest concepts in the field of international business strategy,
- can evaluate firm level information that can be found from business operations,
- can analyze the internal and external environment of companies and organizations,
- can operationalize company marketing in an international marketplace.
- can identify socially responsible business practices in SMEs
- can discuss SME business opportunities for the SDGs

Fee info

DKK 6000: Tuition fee for Open University students (EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship)
DKK 15000: Tuition fee for non-European students.