International Orientation of SME in Liechtenstein/Rhine Valley

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, July 2014 until January 2016 (finished)


Competence Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business

Main Research

Growth and Complexity

Field of Research



The aim of this research project is to generate further insights about influencing factors on decision-making processes on country market selection and market development by using a multi-level empirical study. The research objects are SMEs from Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Austria. Furthermore, by comparing family and non-family businesses, it should be worked out how the particular combination of family and business influence internationalization behaviour.

The following research question will be answered:
"Which effects do the dimensions of international entrepreneurial orientation have on market entry mode, country market selection and speed of decision-making as well as on the success of a company?" A "mixed methods approach" is applied for the research design. Starting with a qualitative study, the internationalization behaviour and the decision-making process involved will be examined exploratory. Then, the results will be operationalized into hypotheses and examined quantitatively as well as experimentally by an empirical study.

As of today, the present research project forms the first experimental study in research on the internationalization behaviour of SMEs in general.

As an international partner, the Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Gallen (CH) as well as the Institute for Controlling and Consulting at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (AT) have agreed to support this research project.

Reference to Liechtenstein

Ziel des Forschungsprojektes ist es, durch eine mehrstufige empirische Untersuchung Erkenntnisse über die Einflussfaktoren auf Entscheidungen in Bezug auf Ländermarkselektion und Marktbearbeitungsform im Internationalisierungsprozess von KMU aus insbesondere Liechtenstein, der Schweiz und Österreich zu generieren. Des Weiteren soll durch den Vergleich von familien- und nicht-familiengeführten Unternehmen herausgearbeitet werden, wie sich die besondere Kombination von Familie und Unternehmen auf das Internationalisierungsverhalten auswirkt.


International Entrepreneurship, SME Internationalization, International Entrepreneurial Orientation, experimental research design

Principal Investigator