Cultural intelligence and the internationalisation of SMEs: a study of the manufacturing sector in Egypt

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This study examines the effect of cultural intelligence, the internationalisation motivators and the entrepreneur’s and the firm’s characteristics on the SMEs internationalisation based on the resource-based, the market and the network views of internationalisation, combined with the social cognitive theory of motivation. It uses the survey method and analyses the information received from a stratified sample of Egyptian manufacturing SME managers. The data is analysed through hierarchal regression, binary logistic regression and dominance analysis. The findings suggest that the cultural intelligence of the SME managers affects the internationalisation of Egyptian SMEs in the internationalisation intention phase more than in the actual internationalisation stage. The internationalisation internal and external motivators, on the other hand, have a more important effect in the actual internationalisation phase. The empirical results contribute theoretically to the development of a unifying framework for SME internationalisation and have practical implications for the ecosystem of SMEs.