Organisational learning in practice: how do SMEs learn to operate internationally?

Valerie Anderson, D. Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organizational learning is fundamentally important for business development and this article analyses and evaluates the process in smaller businesses that seek to grow through operating internationally. The requirement for organizational learning is often underestimated by those involved in the business as well as by policy makers for whom support for small businesses is a priority and this impacts negatively on the performance of the newly internationalized firm. Using a case study approach to investigate the organizational learning process of UK small businesses, the article provides a linkage between a staged model of internationalization and the informal and often unrecorded learning experiences of those involved in the venture. The key learning requirements of the internationalization process are identified and important elements in the transfer of learning from the individual to the organizational level are analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-258
Number of pages24
JournalHuman Resource Development International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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