Relationship between managerial characteristics and success of internationalization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises facilitated by Export Promotion Council in Kenya
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To investigate the relationship between managerial characteristics and successful internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises facilitated by Export Promotion Council in Kenya. Specifically the study seeked to ascertain the relationship between managerial characteristics and successful internationalization of SMEs in manufacturing sector; It assessed the relationship between international outlook and successful internationalization of SMEs in manufacturing sector; it determined the relationship between risk tolerance and successful internationalization of SMEs in manufacturing sector and examined the relationship between demographic characteristics and successful internationalization of SMEs in manufacturing sector. The study used descriptive research design. The researcher targeted all the 231 manufacturing SMEs in Kenya that were facilitated by export promotion council and out of which a sample of 144 respondents were picked. The study respondents comprised of owners of SMEs under study. Stratified random sampling method was used pick respondents from the population. The data collection instrument used was a questionnaire. The data collected was both qualitative and quantitative in nature, Descriptive analysis and inferential statistical analysis was performed to describe the characteristic of the sample and to examine the relationship between variables respectively. The statistical analysis tool such as SPSS version 21 and Microsoft Excel 2010 helped the researcher to describe the data. The study results indicated that managerial perception, risk tolerance, international outlook and demographic characteristics were positively and highly correlated with successful internationalization of SMEs. The study recommends that the possession of certain competitive advantages such as: advantages in R&D, marketing, knowledge, product strength in terms of quality and uniqueness may influence the decision makers‟ perception about export involvement and development, certain characteristics specific to the decision maker, such as foreign language skills, previous international experience, time spent abroad and international business knowledge, managers should have a positive attitude towards risk favors strategies of expansion through new products and markets, low levels of perceived risk together with high levels of risk tolerance lead to a positive attitude towards export and for successful internationalization, entrepreneurs should become familiar with customers on the local, national and international markets as well as to be able to develop more appropriate market niches.
A research thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the degree of Master of International Business of Kenya Methodist University