CSR- leading the way or not? A comparative study about how CSR can influence SMEs internationalization process within the food industry
Due to increased globalization and increased sustainability awareness, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have become increasingly internationalized, as well as more involved in addressing sustainability issues. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to examine how Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy influences the internationalization process for SMEs operating within the food industry. Focus was placed on two essential decisions within the internationalization process, which are International Market Selection (IMS) and the Entry Mode Selection (EMS). A literature review revealed external and internal factors with the potential to influence the decision in the IMS and EMS. The study was conducted on nine cases, adopting a comparative case design. The empirical findings suggest that CSR Strategy has a limited and fragmented impact on the factors within the internationalization process. The influence was more evident within some of the factors in the IMS, whereas in the EMS little or no influence could be discerned. The EMS was mainly characterized by limited resources. The absence of clarity between the internationalization process and CSR Strategy calls for further research, in order to explore if there is a connection that could be distinguished more distinctly.
MSc in International Business and Trade
International Market Selection (IMS)
Entry Mode Selection (EMS)
Master Degree Project