The Process of Distributor Selection among SMEs. A multiple-case study in the Healthcare Sector
Abstract: AbstractAn increasing amount of small and medium sized enterprises make the decision to expand thebusiness outside the domestic market. Due to the restricted resources of SMEs, the entry modeoptions are limited and entering a market through a distributor is often the most viable option. Sincemuch responsibility is put in the hands of the distributor, the success of the foreign marketoperations is correlated to the distributor performance. As the distributor performance is of suchimportance, high demands are placed on the distributor selection. The decision-making has atendency to vary between small and large companies because of the different capabilities, whichaffect how they gather and evaluate information. Although some literature has touched upon theissue of distributor selection it is still a rather unexploited field especially with regards to smallercompanies and how thoroughly they select distributors in foreign markets. This case studyinvestigate the distributor selection process at four Swedish SMEs in the Healthcare sector, with theambition to increase the knowledge of the decision making in this process. The results suggest thatthe distributor selection is a vital decision in the international expansion among SMEs. Furthermore,the managerial experience, partnership dependency, resources and maturity level are factors thatinfluence the distributor selection process among the SMEs in this case study.
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