The decision-maker's role in international activity is crucial, particularly in the case of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, the extant literature on internationalization is characterized by a lack of consensus among scholars as to what constitutes the managerial factor in determining exporting. Therefore, this study focuses on the following issue: Which are the decisionmaker's characteristics and perceptions that may influence the export behavior of SMEs? To address this main research question, a multiple-case study method is applied across four Spanish exporting SMEs. The findings show that high educational level, language skills, high-risk tolerance, innovativeness, as well as strongly perceived export stimuli compared to low and relatively easy to overcome export barriers positively influence the export involvement and development in these investigated SMEs. The study provides further insights into the research topic by jointly studying managerial characteristics and perceptions in the Spanish context where the exporting activities have not been as widely studied so far. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- Case study approach
- Export involvement and development
- Managerial characteristics and perceptions
- Small- and medium-sized enterprises