The Internationalization of Hungarian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises


Annamária Inzelt


Inzelt A. 2017. The Internationalization of Hungarian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. Eastern European Business and Economics Journal 3(4): 376-396.


Full text



This paper offers some empirical evidence concerning Hungarian knowledge-intensive industries by analysing the extent of internationalization among innovative and non-innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The main methods were an on-line survey specifically developed for the project and some interviews. The survey was responded to by 246 SMEs from four knowledge-intensive, technology-oriented sectors. An important feature of the paper’s contribution is that it looks not only at “classical” forms of internationalisation such as involvement in exporting and FDI; it also shows the results of “contemporary internationalization”-for instance, from participation in international research and innovation networks. “Classical” internationalization provides a rather limited impetus for innovation, whilst the contemporary version is constrained by the relatively low proportion of innovative SMEs. Both phenomena hamper companies’ success on the international stage. The study draws some important, evidence-based conclusions demonstrating how innovation and economic policy can improve the Hungarian economic environment. The study of relationships between types of internationalization and innovative / non-innovative SMEs is something of a novelty in Hungary and may provide important insights in policy terms into the ways in which policymakers can assist companies to join such important networks.



internationalization, innovation, small and medium-sized enterprises, Hungary, on-line survey


JEL classification:

O39; F23






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