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Phd Research

Doctoral Research:

'Supporting the internationalisation strategy of small organisations'


In recent years, an area of the Operational Research/Management Science (OR/MS) field has focused specifically on how to support strategy processes through the articulation and evaluation of strategic issues at different organisational levels with a view to creating a positive strategic impact on the organisation (Franco, O'Brien and Bell, 2011). This stream has emerged as a consequence of strategy process research that looked for new intervention techniques and tools which can be applied by strategists during decision making (Hutzschenreuter and Kleindienst, 2006; Dyson et al., 2007). Dyson (2004) refers the process of supporting strategy using an OR/MS approach as the strategic development process.

In international business literature, one of the drivers of successful internationalisation strategies is the identification of international knowledge and experience as a valuable, unique, and hard-to-imitate resource (Peng, 2001). However, difficulties in explaining how firms use this resource have lead to scholars developing descriptive analyses about what strategies are applied, instead of showing how strategies are developed.


The contributions of my research fall in two areas:

The first contribution is to show how managers of small firms implement internationalisation strategies using their organisational resources, a contribution to the strategic management area. I cover this aspect by developing a conceptual model with managers for understanding how they conceptualise and manage the resources they need for the strategy. Findings can help strategists to enhance the implementation of internationalisation strategies, specially, in those small firms with limited resources and small top management teams. This is relevant because there is little evidence about the sequence of actions for implementing an internationalisation strategy (Weerawardena et al., 2007). Second, my study attempts to make a value-added contribution to the OR literature by explaining how an OR approach can enhance the understanding of SME internationalisation processes. The approach was based on a case study research by simulating resource-based strategies prior to implementation (Kunc and Morecroft, 2010).


Dyson RG, Bryant J, Morecroft J. and O’Brien F. (2007), ‘The Strategic Development Process.’ In: O’Brien F. and Dyson RG (eds). Supporting Strategy: Frameworks, Methods and Models. John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester, 3-24.

Dyson RG. (2004), ‘Strategic Development and SWOT analysis at the University of Warwick’, European Journal of Operational Research 152(3):631-640.

Franco, L. A., O'Brien, F. and Bell, P. (2011), ‘Supporting strategy: Contributions from OR’, Journal of the Operational Research Society 62(5), 815-816.

Hutzschenreuter, T. and Kleindienst, I. (2006), ‘Strategy-process research: What have we learned and what is still to be explored', Journal of Management 32(5), 673-720.

Kunc, M. H. and Morecroft, J. D. W. (2010), ‘Managerial Decision Making and Firm Performance under a Resource-based Paradigm’, Strategic Management Journal 31(11): 1164-1182.

Peng, M. W. (2001), `The resource-based view and international business', Journal of Management 27(6), 803-829.

Weerawardena J, Mort GS, Liesch PW, Knight G. (2007), Conceptualizing accelerated internationalization in the born global firm: A dynamic capabilities perspective. Journal of World Business 42(3): 294-306