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International Market Expansion

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Study questions are part of the research strategy and they are well presented in the entire research and covered in a broad context to help understand the issues better and generate adequate knowledge on the same. The study focuses on significant questions looking into the issue of SME and the internationalization process among the Irish companies (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). The research seeks to analyze whether the internalization process has any impact on firm performance. This is answered through an analysis of three companies, interviewees from CEOs and literature review from previous studies. The study also seeks to evaluate the relevance of strategic perspective on the international market expansion (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). The strategic perspective has been identified as affecting the internalization process tremendously which is why the research seeks to generate findings to support the case (Petersen & Pedersen 1997, p.117 - 34). It is also in the same research, that answers are sought on what the external and internal changes a firm experiences because of internalization. The study identified internationalization as a process and one that has consequences. A question on the same is put across for study in order to decipher the meaning and develop further understanding.

The methods used for the study are appropriate and supremely relevant in relation to the type of study being conducted and with a consideration of the desired results. The article espouses that the method used to complete the survey was a retrospective case study (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). Retrospective case study is one powerful method in conducting such kind of research because it enables vast comparisons between companies in the same or distinct categories and in turn deducing some similarities and differences which are ideal in making conclusions regarding internationalization of the diverse companies and how it applies as a general concept. Data collection for this study as espoused from the article was done through face-to-face interviews (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). In this case, the identified respondents were asked to look back and provide appropriate descriptions of the changes during the identified time period. In analyses of change for this study, the key interests are the main triggers including milestones, crisis situations and deadlines (Gersick 1991, p. 10 – 36). The same are identified as critical events or incidents by Halinen, Salmi & Havila (1999, p. 779 – 94). The tracking of such incidents through the interviews was an excellent method of enabling the researcher to make observations on the processes and mechanisms through which changes within the firm are created (Schuh 2001).

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The CEOs of the respective companies were engaged in face-to-face interviews and closely involved in the change within firms. The interviews used in data gathering were semi-structured with the design following a loose pattern that was based entirely on the theoretical framework as identified in the study (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). Semi-structured interviews are critical in such studies because they generate a lot of data which would be practically indispensable in covering the numerous issues (Schuh 2001). The study also used data triangulation, which was to help in complementing the semi-structured interviews and the secondary data collected from the literature reviews including Internet pages, memos, newspaper articles, brochures, annual reports, and other material. In cases where enormous amounts of data are collected, and an analysis of the same is required data triangulation is critical in integrating the mixed method assessment approach and facilitating the study accordingly (Jones 1999, p. 15 – 41).

Cross-case analysis has also been used in analyzing the effects of internationalization as a process among three identified companies (A, B, C) (Niina, Sharon & Jim 2006, p. 562 – 583). Cross-case analysis has always been categorized as a qualitative methodology in research widely used in the field of social science (Petersen & Pedersen 1997, p.117 - 34). However, rigorous and systematic analysis techniques produce reliable and objective findings. This is also a significant tactic which has been suggested by Schuh (2001) for searching relevant patterns within cross-case studies. The patterns are relevant to establish the appropriate findings and generalize the results of the study. The patterns are correlated with the identified dimensions or constructs in the reviewed literature. On the same note, the analysis helps in establishing within-group similarities, as well as other inter-group differences. The same point was supported by Schuh (2001) who argued that cross-case analyses are preferable in such a case to search for evident patterns. The overall idea of using cross-case analysis is to allow the researcher to go beyond the impressions in use for structured and diverse data lenses. The use of cross-case analysis is also fruitful as it increases the likelihood of achieving reliable and accurate theory application for the study (Petersen & Pedersen 1997, p.117 - 34). In general, cross analysis works out well in establishing the differences and similarities among the three firms which work well in establishing the common effects as established in global firms.

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