When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
The main purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the process through which small and medium-sized enterprises achieve sustained growth in crisis environments. It consists of three main essays to explore this process from theoretical, empirical and normative perspectives, and elaborates the choices and actions taken by managers toward sustained growth in a crisis environment. The focus is on the process of internationalization and development of versatile resources and capabilities that leads to the SMEs’ sustained growth. The unique contribution of this study is to explore an under researched topic of sustained growth in a crisis environment. It will fill the gap in the crisis literature by undertaking a process analysis, providing a holistic method to capture SMEs’ internationalization and sustained growth in a crisis context. Theoretically the study aims to contribute to the crisis perspectives by exploring how SMEs can sustain their growth in this context through internationalization. This study is built on Penrose’s growth and the dynamic capabilities perspectives. These literatures help to confirm the relationship between proactive internationalization, capability development and growth and expanding on how it comes to endure in a crisis context. Previous studies have not considered sustained growth over a prolonged crisis period and the main required driving forces to achieve it. I show how sustained growth is achieved in a crisis environment by identifying a multidimensional framework; unpacking why and how versatile resources and capabilities are developed and can lead to sustained growth through specific managerial and value creation mechanisms over a prolonged crisis period.