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Home country institutions (HCIs) can play a role in supporting the internationalization efforts of SMEs, although little is known about how such support comes about. Our study addresses this question, specifically with regard to post-entry development of SMEs. We examine the process by which HCIs provide support, notably through the activities of home country institutional agents (HCIAs), drawing on the concepts of boundary-spanning and brokerage to conceptualize this process. Utilizing interview data from New Zealand SMEs internationalizing into India and China, we examine how institutional support is provided by the HCIAs identified and highlight associated outcomes arising for these firms. As a further contribution, we show differences between home country based, and host country based HCIAs in regard to these elements. The study notes a number of research implications relating to SME internationalization and institutional support, as well as insights for policy-makers and SME managers.
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- Home Country Institutional Agents (HCIAs) as Boundary Spanners Supporting SME Internationalization
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