Use of International Trade Fairs for the Internationalisation of SMEs - A Network Approach
The impact of international trade fairs on the internationalisation process of small businesses participating in global value chains remains quite an unstudied field, so are trade fairs’ network-building properties. To date, it appears that there is no literature on the detailed steps of building up business networks. The way these business networks are created and how they are structured is neglected in the literature. The outcomes of this thesis offer a contribution to this area, by examining the use of trade shows as a way to build business relationships. Using a network approach to internationalisation, the purpose of this thesis is to look at the impact international trade fairs have on the internationalisation process of New Zealand SMEs. Based on the experience of six New Zealand SMEs, this study analyses the benefits they feel they perceived from participating in international trade fairs. Qualitative interviews were conducted in these companies to build the cross-case comparison. The study explores for the first time the influence of governance mode and value chain position on the benefits that an SME derives from its participation in trade fairs. International trade fairs offer great network-building possibilities for SMEs, as well as selling, promotion and information gathering potentials. These benefits are also of great importance for born-globals. However, trade fair benefits appear to largely be determined by the governance modes controlling global value chains. The SME’s position and trajectory within the chain appears to have less effect on its use of trade fairs.
Advisor: Campbell-Hunt, Colin
Degree Name: Master of Business
Degree Discipline: International Business
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: SME Internationalisation; Trade Fairs; Business Networks; Global Value Chains
Research Type: Thesis