MNE–SME cooperation: An integrative framework

Shameen Prashantham (First Author), Julian Birkinshaw (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

28 Citations (Web of Science)


Although international business scholars have begun to recognize the division of entrepreneurial labor between MNEs and SMEs, there is a fragmented understanding of the different forms MNE–SME cooperation can take. We develop a typology that takes into account not only complementarity of capabilities but also, crucially, the compatibility of intent between MNEs (exploration vs. exploitation) and SMEs (international vs. domestic orientation). The framework offers a novel way to understand the forms and dynamics of MNE–SME cooperation. We also show how it can be applied more broadly, by considering its application to societal challenges, such as achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1175
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • MNE-SME cooperation
  • SME internationalization
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • global innovation
  • global value chain
  • interorganizational relationships

Indexed by

  • FT
  • ABDC-A*
  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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