Mme Magdalena Smiech Teissandier, aspirant au Diplôme de Doctorat en Sciences de Gestion, de l’Université de Toulouse 1 Capitole, soutiendra sa thèse le 29 novembre 2019 à 9H30 en Salle des Thèses, 1, rue des Puits Creusés, 31000 Toulouse.

Sujet de la Thèse

Internationalization of small firms: influence of institutional logics and firms’ responses to institutional complexity. Case of subcontracting SMEs in the space industry in France

Résumé de la Thèse

This thesis has for purpose to explain how subcontracting SMEs evolving in changing and globalized space industry respond to institutional complexity whilst going international. We refer to the literature on SMEs’ internationalization: processual approaches, International Entrepreneurship, research investigating more specifically subcontracting firms and their modes of internationalization, as well to institutional logics perspective. We conduct a single-embedded qualitative case study in the space industry in France with five subcontracting SMEs and representatives of institutional and industrial organizations. In total, we carry out 40 interviews, 4 non-participant observations and analyze 800 pages of field-level documents.

Our analysis shows that organizations involved in space activities and SMEs perceive two institutional logics: Space as National Pride and Space as Global Solution. These both logics drive institutional change and their configuration suggests the existence of institutional uncertainty and of institutional disequilibrium between French and international markets. Despite the same changing context, the five SMEs adapt different strategies reflected in different patterns of internationalization.

We suggest that this variation may be explained by each SME’s receptivity to institutional change and more particularly by the meaning associated to the impact of change on firms’ activities perceived as: either « local threat », « status quo », « ambiguity », « international threat », or « potential growth ». Furthermore, we suggest that receptivity to institutional change and more particularly the SMEs’ attitude to the French space industry, with namely: « loyalty to one big contractor », « inconsistency », « historical ties », « new dynamic needed » and « detachment » may contribute to reinforce the type of international strategy implemented by each SME and thus to shape their respective patters of geographic expansion.

Composition du Jury

  • Mme Martine BOUTARY, Professeur des Universités, TBS, Directeur des Recherches
  • M. Andrew BARRON, Professeur des Universités, TBS, Membre du Jury
  • Mme Pascale BUENO MERINO, Professeur des Universités, TBS, Rapporteur du Jury
  • Mme Nathalie PRIME, Professeur des Universités, ESCP Europe Business School, Rapporteur du Jury

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