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Résumé

Internationalization speed currently receives once again substantial attention in the internationalization literature. Internationalization speed already formed an integral part of the incremental approach to internationalization 40 years ago. It received center stage position in the more recent born global and international new venture debate. However, there are new developments in its conceptualization and operationalization approach. Our understanding of the multidimensional construct of internationalization speed is currently being detailed. Speed is not only explored as a byproduct of strategy or a dependent variable. It is turning into an independent variable. This quantitative study explores the financial and non-financial performance implications of internationalization speed based on the sample of Swiss SMEs and data gathered in 2016 with end of 2015 as the reference point for reporting. The results clarify that speed has indeed positive performance implications based on ROA figures, while no such significant positive impact was found for EBITDA. This paper also outlines how internationalization speed impacts seven non-financial, organizational performance based on multidimensional perceptions of CEOs. Statistical analysis showed that only some of these dimensions are positively affected, while overall no negative effect of a swift internationalization approach could be traced. In light of the absence of negative performance implications, companies should explore faster internationalization strategies.

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