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Foreign Market Knowledge and SME’s International Performance: Moderating Effects of Strategic Intent and Time-to-Internationalization



Objective: The objective of the article are threefold. First, to examine the significance of knowledge based resources for internationalization of small and medium sized enterprises. Second, to verify the strategic intent as a factor enhancing SMEs’ ability to accumulate the knowledge about foreign markets. Third, to examine whether and how strategic intent and time-to-internationalization moderate the relationship between foreign market knowledge and SMEs’ international performance.

Research Design & Methods: The study was conducted on a sample of 89 Polish firms operating in a low-tech but fairly internationalized sector. In line with a theoretical background, hypotheses are developed and tested with linear regression models.

Findings: The findings reveal that foreign market knowledge (FMK) is positively associated with international performance (IP), and both, strategic intent and firm’s age at internationalization are moderators of FMK-IP relationship.

Implications & Recommendations: Firms’ ability to clearly formulate the strategic intent brings important consequences for ability to accumulate knowledge. Strategic intent enhances the development of the stock of foreign market knowledge, which in turn enables firms to achieve better performance in international markets.

Contribution & Value Added: The article seeks to contribute to the ongoing discussion on factors supporting the accumulation of foreign market knowledge by focusing on the role of strategic intent and time to internationalization in this respect.


foreign market knowledge, strategic intent, age at internationalization, international performance, SMEs



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